With nearly 18,000 registered students at Brock, plus the number of staff and faculty members, it can be difficult to get to know many people individually. Thankfully, an on-going social media campaign developed by a Brock student is working towards helping students learn about other members of the campus community.
A third-year student (who chooses to remain anonymous) created Humans of BrockU via an Instagram account dedicated to showcasing the many diverse people and sharing their stories with the community.
Inspired by the Humans of New York project by blogger and photographer Brandon Stanton, this student has taken it upon himself to get to know as many people as possible, and in more depth than most strangers would normally do.
“I kind of just walk up to people in the halls and start talking to them. Everyone has received me in a positive way, and considering only one person has turned me away, I think people just need someone who will listen, even though I’m a stranger,” he said.“Hearing the stories is incredible. When you’re face-to-face with people, you would think that there are many differences between you two, but by sharing your stories in such a vulnerable setting, it’s a way to really dive into the other person and find similarities as well as their unique qualities. Through a photo or a story, I think it can be very relatable and very personal.”
Although this student isn’t a trained photographer, he has dabbled with the art since high school, purchasing his first DSLR camera when he was 18-years-old and practicing his hobby since then.
“Buying that camera was an important thing for me, and capturing those photos of someone is equally as important because I think everyone is beautiful in their own way,” he said.“The photos might not be my best work as a photographer, I’ve taken much better ones before, but it’s certainly the most enjoyable in terms of the experience. Outside of campus, I like to drive around and take pictures with my friends. It’s one of my better pastimes.”
Humans of BrockU has generated a large and growing social media following since its inception in early January, and with 16 posts and over 984 followers to date, it doesn’t look like its growth will be slowing down anytime soon.
The posts range from professors to international students, as well as domestic students and facilities employees, but there is no limit as to who will be featured next.
“Because of this project, I actually look forward to my downtime, walking through the halls and seeing what people have to offer in terms of their story. It’s really cool to have students share part of who they are,” he said.
The project may not be long lasting, unfortunately, as this student will be graduating by the end of the year. However, he is on the lookout for someone who is not only willing to take over the project, but is also passionate about meeting and listening to people, as well as capturing high quality photos.
“I kind of have to pass the torch somehow. But if there’s one thing I want people to know, it’s that this project is not about me and I don’t want to make it about me at any point,” he said.
“I think it’s a cool way to create a bit of a buzz on campus about the other people that make up the University.”
Haven’t seen Humans of BrockU yet? Check it out by following them on Instagram at @HumansofBrockU