Wellesley’s Snapchat Reporters Capture Campus News

December 8, 2016
Wellesley's Snapchat reporters

Many people know Snapchat as a social media platform, used to send pictures and videos back and forth to friends. This semester, Wellesley launched its own Snapchat account, Wellesley, and staffed it with a crew of students ready to tackle this new platform for reporting. 

This group of reporters is committed to documenting the year at Wellesley as it happens, and sharing it with current students, prospective students, and alums. It includes Emilia Ball ’19, Rory Fernandez ’20, Doris Li ’20, Rhea Mehta ’20, Ngozi Oghor ’19, Emily Pearson ’20, and Katie Sidhu ’20.

Pearson said, “Snapchat provides a unique opportunity to really engage with our audience while at the same time allowing viewers a behind-the-scenes, spontaneous, and real view of Wellesley. We also see that platform as a way to show a slightly more informal, humorous, and personal Wellesley than what you may see on other Wellesley accounts.”

It’s true: Even when Snapchat is used to report around campus, the reporters noted that the best part of the medium is being able to hear back from current students. As Mehta noted, “I try to keep my Snapchats as interactive and informative as I can, and I always like to see and respond to messages from the students!”

There is no typical assignment for this cohort of Snapchat reporters. Every day is different. However, the channel features recurring segments, like “First-Year Friday,” which highlights the experiences of first-year students, and FRESH Friday, which offers dining hall “hacks.”

A general theme for the Snapchat reporting, though, is that it shows the College from the students’ perspective, up-close and personal. When asked about her favorite assignment, Pearson responded: “In an effort to prove how diverse and delicious the Wellesley Fresh food offerings are, I went vegan for a day…I’m from Texas and honestly, I deeply love chicken, beef, and dairy, but it turned out to be a great experience and the food was really great. At one point, in a moment of weakness, Rory [Fernandez] literally had to take turkey bacon out of my hand in pursuit of journalistic integrity. But now, I love chocolate soy milk and am even more impressed by Wellesley Fresh!”

Showing the College from the students’ perspective has benefits. The crew of reporters is out among the student body each and every day. Their instant ability to turn a moment into a Snapchat report enables them to provide a spontaneous view of campus and the students who populate it. “We want our audience to see our diverse, inspiring, and creative student body. We want them to understand that there truly isn’t one mold of a proper Wellesley woman, that people of all backgrounds, cultures, and characteristics have a place at Wellesley,” said Pearson.

“Snapchat is a convenient way to show a multifaceted perspective of Wellesley, a result of our diverse student body,” added Li. “It's especially helpful for prospective students who want a complex and all-encompassing view of their future school—and not just of the college itself, but also of its surrounding area.”

Being able to broadcast moments in real time—whether those moments are deeply substantive interviews with members of the administration, or the process of making the best dining hall ice cream on Sundae Sunday—helps forge broader connections within the Wellesley community. “We want to use Snapchat to share some joyous moments, celebrations, and the overarching beauty of our campus with our fellow sisters,” said Mehta.

Story by Katharine Mallary ’17