‘Humans of USciences’ Shares the Story Behind Familiar Faces on Campus

By Jenna Pizzi

Humans of USciences Taking the same route to class, you’ll run into the same people regularly, making you feel like they are a part of your life, but do you really know them?

That was the burning question for a USciences student who wanted to learn more about those familiar faces walking the hallways or even serving lunch. So, the student founded Humans of USciences, a Facebook page populated with short profiles, quotes and photos from individuals on campus.

“You see all these people, and you never know what their story is,” said the student, who wishes to remain anonymous, during a recent interview while hiding in plain sight in the crowded STC atrium. “This is a great way for our community to get to know each other.”

As students, it is easy when you are stressed out about managing classes, extracurricular activities, and a social life to become self-absorbed, the student said. Through sharing these small, but intimate details about each subject, Humans of USciences looks to encourage other students, faculty, and staff to gain some perspective about one another.

The page is modeled off of Humans of New York, which shares a photo and short quote from individuals on the streets of New York City, and has since turned into a global phenomenon with a blog followed by more than 25 million people.

“I wasn’t a huge fan of (Humans of New York), but after the election I was annoyed at the divisive rhetoric around the country, so I was inspired to find a way to spread this message of love, peace, and unity in my own corner of the world here at USciences,” the Humans of USciences creator said.

So far the Facebook page, which has 713 likes, has profiled a mix of faculty, students, staff, and other campus figures. It never uses their names, or identifies their roles on campus, but it still instills in the reader a sense of familiarity.  

The page launched in February, featuring the most well-known faces for most on campus: Linda and Neil, the owners of Linda’s Cart. The conversation went beyond confirming a regular order, instead touching the origin story, which most customers don’t normally hear:

“I wanted to go to pharmacy school but things didn’t work out. I saw that I could do business here and I decided to start a food cart here and it’s worked out.”

Humans of Usciences has since featured 10 others, including an international student commenting on how hard it is to be so far away from her home and family in Cambodia; a professor discussing how she picked the perfect cat to adopt; a staff member who always remembers to share a smile and words of encouragement to stressed students, and a student who embraced his love of dancing in college without worrying who might judge him.

The page’s student-founder said it is intentional that the page feature people from different backgrounds, with different experiences, who wouldn’t normally approach each other for a conversation.

“Although I’ve never met them before I go up to speak to them, it is amazing how it just takes a simple question and all of a sudden they start opening up and getting really deep,” the student said. “This community is small enough that there is no excuse not to get to know the people around you and find some common ground and compassion.” 

Categories: News, Students, USciences