Exploring ‘Humans of Southern’

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Written by: Naomi Linder

Making its debut in the spring of 2015, “Humans of Southern” is a student-and faculty-led social media page that focuses on helping people “get to know Southern better through a student’s perspective,” wrote Shana Fairchild, digital engagement manager for Marketing and University Relations, in an email to the Accent.

With a social media presence on both Instagram and Facebook, “Humans of Southern” shares the stories of over 200 students and staff from Southern’s campus and has a following of over 1,500 on Instagram. According to Fairchild, the page tries to share a story about once a week.

 Fairchild wrote that students who are known to have interesting stories to tell are recommended to Amelia Zimmerman, junior communication major and manager of said account, and that gives her a lead on potential interviewees for upcoming posts.

“If [Amelia] isn’t interviewing someone with specific questions regarding a story of theirs that we heard about, she might be asking things like: Who inspires you the most? What was the happiest moment of your life so far? What was the saddest moment of your life? What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?” explained Fairchild.

When asked what the mission behind this account is, Fairchild wrote, “The goal of ‘Humans of Southern’ is to showcase the unique and wonderful people of Southern Adventist University, one story at a time.”

Blake Tousignant, junior mass communication-advertising major, was featured on the page in the Spring 2022 semester. He shared his experience. 

“I felt heard by Southern because they actually reached out to me personally and gave me the opportunity to express myself,” he said.

Fairchild further explained that the page has also been used in a recruitment sense because it lets prospective students see the people  the campus is made up of.

“They might read a student’s story and say, ‘That’s someone I could be friends with’ and realize that there are so many great people here on our campus,” she wrote.

Another aspect that “Humans of Southern” covers is the cultural diversity present on the university’s campus.  For example, the account highlights cultures during specific times of  the year, such as Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month, as can be seen on their page.

“Southern has such a wonderful and diverse student body, and the university is the second most diverse regional university in the South, according to U.S. News and World Report,” wrote Fairchild. “Because of our rich diversity, we want ‘Humans of Southern’ to honor and represent the different cultures present on our campus.”

To find these pages, visit Instagram @thehumansofsouthern or Facebook @HumansOfSouthern.

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