‘Humans of Mercyhurst’ exposes student diversity on campus


Sara Paschal

The Humans of Mercyhurst stories will run in the MSG Instagram account. Each photo will feature student’s thoughts about society, culture and every day life.

Phuong Nguyen, Staff writer

To highlight the growing diversity on campus, the Multicultural Activity Council  collaborated with Mercyhurst Student Government to start a blog called Humans of Mercyhurst.

Humans of Mercyhurst will run through Instagram, mimicking the famous Facebook blog known as Humans of New York. MAC Chair Samantha Collier and MSG Public Relations Coordinator Shannon Holly are at the forefront of the newest initiative.  The blog seeks to feature the stories of Mercyhurst’s culturally diverse student population.

“We have such a diverse campus, whether it is different nationalities, heritages, races and social class backgrounds. But a lot of people don’t see that, too many people take it for granted. The fact is students from everywhere are feeling stressed, but people feel stress in different ways because they come from different lifestyles, societies and cultures. We want to show that Mercyhurst is unique,” Collier said.

Most of the students approached were willing to share their stories and the team had their first spotlights done in just a few days. To get more unique stories that spotlight the diversity in the Mercyhurst community, the team had to search for and reach out to students from different cultural identities on campus.

One of the difficulties the team faced when starting the blog was choosing the right people and asking the right questions. Sometimes, people do not want to share their stories. Collier found this to be a normal reaction.

“It is not something easy to open up your thought and share it with everybody,” Collier said.

Collier and Holly not only talked with students they knew personally, but also with students whom they normally would not come in contact with. They asked questions that were relatable to all students. Some of the questions were inspired by the original HONY blog.

The questions could be as trivial as, “What kind of socks are you wearing?” While still having a meaningful intentions behind each question.

“It’s hard to come up with the questions. You don’t want to ask really generic questions, because that’s not the point of the blog. It is to show students’ real thoughts about society, culture and everyday life,” Collier said.

The blog will run through MSG’s Instagram account.  Although a lot of people are on Facebook, the team believes Instagram is a social media that suits the blog better. They plan on tagging pictures on other social media outlets, including Twitter and Facebook, but all pictures will originally be posted on the Instagram account.

“I want everyone to like the blog and accept it. My biggest fear is that people will take the blog as some kind of racial ploy. I want people to truly understand that we are highlighting the culture within the Mercyhurst community because every single student’s perspective and cultural experiences are important,” Collier said.

The first blog post premiered last Monday, Nov. 9, on MSG’s Instagram account under the screenname MSGlakers. The first post was a picture of Zachary Abodalo, explaining his favorite memory from elementary school. Collier and Holly plan to continue the blog until the end of the year, based on the responses received by students.

Students who want to contribute stories or ideas for the blog can contact Collier at scolli16@lakers.mercyhurst.edu or find her at the MSG offices located on the lower level of the Student Union.