For the class of 2025, there are no accepted students days or on-campus meetups. As a result, most incoming first-years have been unable to interface with the University in any substantial way. To make up for it, students have taken it upon themselves to connect virtually through social media.
Take the UR Class of 2025 Instagram account, similar to those for other colleges across the country. The premise of these accounts are pretty standard and straightforward — accepted students send in photos of themselves with a short bio so future classmates can scope them out as potential friends or roommates.
However, UR’s Class of 2025 account differs in a couple of ways. In order to provide students with information about campus life, the account admin set up collaborations with various student organizations and on-campus residents. They’ve partnered with the UR representative for the custom clothing company UTees to make Class of 2025 shirts, and even set up Instagram takeovers with students on campus to give more personal accounts of life in Rochester.
Because of its success, the Campus Times set up a Zoom interview with the account owner, who asked to be referred to as Maverick to maintain anonymity, runs the account alone, coming to UR after a gap year.
They first learned about Class of 2025-centric accounts through other schools that they applied to before being accepted by UR. Initially, Maverick noticed the importance of similar Instagram accounts last year through friends who applied in the Class of 2024, who utilized social media to figure out the general vibes of the student body of each university they were considering.
After they were accepted on March 24, they didn’t see anything on Instagram for UR, which was surprising to them considering that early decisions applicants had already been Yellowjackets for months. Thus, they decided to make the account themselves as a way to help them understand the gist of UR from a different perspective.
When questioned about other platforms for incoming students, they mentioned the existence of a Discord server and Facebook account. However, it was noted that both platforms have the issues of being more private and thus less open to browsing, which is a main benefit of a public Instagram account.
To start advertising, they began following accounts through the UR Admissions Instagram page that interacted with the page and had a class year in their bio. After one hour, they had an incoming student reach out with a post for the account, and since then, they have accumulated over 800 followers and over 200 posts.
Maverick stressed the importance of being a gap year student because the number of people reaching out to submit bios/photos renders the commitment of maintaining the account very time-consuming: they receive about 10 submissions a day, and post hourly. Despite the issue, they noted that “[the account] is giving [them] a really unique and fun experience and getting [them] closer to the school in a very new way.”
While most submissions are nice and polite, Maverick has had some bad experiences from trolls. As a way to combat this issue, the account requires some sort of proof that account submissions are coming from actually accepted 2025 students.
When it comes to the posts chosen for their Instagram story, any UR organizations are welcome to send information to the account to advertise as a form of mutual support. For instance, group chats for the Class of 2025 and Discord servers have been promoted, as well as events for on-campus groups such as Vocal Point’s recent spring show livestream and HerCampus Rochester’s events. Interest floors such as MIF and Greenspace have also promoted through the 2025 account.
In addition, the account was contacted by Patio, which is a new platform for college students that creates group chats where you match with students based on interests and can engage with others in a virtual group setting. They signed a contract with Patio in order to promote their service to UR students, but there has been a low rate of engagement due to the preexisting Discord server and Facebook account, which already fill that niche.
When it comes to the T-shirts that were made, the students who run UTees at UR decided to reach out to the 2025 account to ask about merch ideas.
Since creating the page, the admin’s main push was to set up Q&As with current students. After initially reaching out to Class Council (to no avail), they continued to contact students who were engaging with the account in order to see if anyone was interested, which was how first-year Shamsul Chowdhury was the first student to participate in an Instagram takeover. Since then, all other takeovers have been students who have reached out to the account themselves. Currently, over 10 students have reached out to do a takeover, but others are encouraged to contact the account through Instagram DM.
Although not an official UR organization, UR Admissions does follow the Class of 2025 Instagram (thus making it as legitimate as you can get).The account will continue throughout the summer, and Maverick plans to do an identity reveal before students get to campus in August.