Utah State University’s Snapchat has been gaining popularity, and students have more control over it than they may realize. The “USU Aggie Life” Snapchat is available to anyone that is a USU student or faculty member wanting to showcase their day in the life.
“Our goal for the Snapchat was to give students a chance to show off their time as an Aggie,” said Ryan Jensen, USU’s social media coordinator. “We essentially wanted it to take off, and then have it run itself.”
Jensen, as well as USU’s PR and Marketing Assistant Isabel Forinash, initially reached out to students who were spending their summers on unique adventures or studying abroad.
“When we decided we wanted to have students take it over, it was kind of hilarious because people started joking on Twitter that anyone can take over the USU Snapchat story,” Forinash said. “When we told them that they could also take it over, they got really excited.”
Snapchat “takeovers” occur when students submit requests to Jensen, who will then reach out to them and explain the rules of taking over the Snapchat before giving them the account information for the day.
Several student leaders on campus have been able to showcase different aspects of campus life, their respective leadership roles, and the pure fun of being an Aggie through Snapchat takeovers.
“This summer, my coworker and I decided to start a Bachelorette recap show,” said Kaitlyn Archibald, a communication studies major at USU. “We decided to show that it that it is possible to have fun in the summer when everyone else is gone. We really just had fun with it.”
Archibald’s favorite part of taking over the USU Snapchat was the responses she received.
“For the Bachelorette Recap show, there were so many awesome responses,” she said. “We were able to come back for a Round 2 and even a Round 3. I have made real-life friends from people coming into my work saying, ‘Hey I recognize you, let’s go to lunch sometime.’ This is a whole other level of getting yourself out there and meeting new people.”
Student Events VP Joseph Aratari ran the Snapchat for Weeks of Welcome, which included High Stakes Bingo.
“I chose to highlight being involved as a student as well as being backstage,” he said. “I was able to show off the fantastic people that work in offices, sometimes from morning to night, during these events. It was cool to be able to represent not just myself, but everything I’m involved in and who I come in contact with.”
Aratari said that by having students watch the Snapchat, or even take it over, they begin to realize they can be in a student leadership position.
“Incoming students are always so interested in getting involved, and they love watching what we do,” Aratari said. “Taking over the Snapchat is just one step closer for them to make something of themselves at the university.”
As a journalism and communications major at USU, Brendon Brady took viewers behind the scenes to showcase New Student Orientation from the perspective of an A-Teamer.
“I tried to show that orientation can be fun, even though it is a lot of hard work,” Brady said. “We wanted to show how the A-Teamers interacted with each other, as well as how they interacted with parents, returned missionaries, transfer students and a whole plethora of people.”
From an organizer’s perspective, Jensen loves the collaboration behind the Snapchat.
“It started as an idea,” he said. “It’s cool to see it growing, and that it’s working. It’s a good reminder that campus life isn’t just homework and listening to a professor. I’m excited to see what comes of it.”
Forinash said she loves that each day is unique for those who take over the Snapchat.
“I love how different it has been every day,” she said. “Everyone is different and experiences different things. Even if you go to the same events, your experience is going to be different from the next person. It’s way cool to see the different experiences, or fire alarms going off, or hilarious things like that.”
For Archibald, the best part of a university Snapchat is the way it helps students relate to each other.
“It gives me an inside look into other people’s lives,” she said. “Much like the #aggiestrife twitter feed, I enjoy watching the USU Aggie Life Snapchat, because I can relate to other students experiences.”
Aratari invited Aggies to follow the USU Aggie Life Snapchat for more than just the social aspect.
“Follow the Snapchat because it’s promoting real people and experiences,” Aratari said. “It’s pure entertainment and it’s fun to watch.”
Aggies can experience an all-access pass to life as a USU student by following the Snapchat, or showcase their own perspectives by taking it over.
“There are plenty of ways to find out about events going on campus, many different ways to get involved, and you can even make friends that way,” Jensen said. “I would suggest following the Snapchat because it leads to opportunities that can enhance your experience here.”
For those wishing to broadcast their day in the life of an Aggie, search USU Snapchat Takeover and submit a request.