Print Edition: January 30, 2013
It’s something you may or may not have seen on your Facebook feed in the last month or so: UFV Compliments, anonymously congratulating and recognizing students for achievements all over campus. It’s a little mystifying – what is it for?
Perhaps more interestingly, who’s in charge of the page?
The creator, however, wishes to remain anonymous.
“I don’t want to put the focus on one person … I didn’t start it because of me,” she says of her wish to remain anonymous. “It has nothing to do with me. It has to do with the students.”
The creator says they were inspired by the University of British Columbia Okanagan compliments page, and felt UFV could really benefit from some positive reinforcement.
“It was really inspiring to see how people bonded over that. I thought ‘UFV needs something like that,” she says.
To compliment a fellow UFVer, a student can send either a Facebook message or an email to the Facebook page. After that, the message will be posted anonymously and publicly to the page’s Facebook feed. The recipient of the compliment is then tagged so they get the notification.
Since the page launched on January 15, close to 20 members of the UFV community have been named on the page. Most of these compliments were posted in the first few days, and this is a low number compared to similar pages for other universities, but the creator is still positive.
“It’s been a slow start but I think it’s pretty good. Anything is good,” she says. “Even if we only get two things on the page, it’s cool – because we’ve affected two people.”
The creator hopes more of the UFV community will get on board and continue to take advantage of the ability to spread kindness and build a campus connection.
What the creator didn’t know when she launched the page was that UFV was becoming part of a massive movement on university campuses.
The idea of a compliments page for a university community started last fall when four students in Kingston, Ontario, decided to launch a page for Queen’s University as a way to lift the back-to-school spirits. The idea took off, and the students soon created a group for other participating universities.
UFV is number 129 to join the movement.
Olivia B. Waxman, in an article for Time-Tech magazine, describes the Queen’s students’ efforts as an attempt to build a positive campus atmosphere, as well as a contribution to mental health awareness and anti-bullying initiatives.
She believes that the popularity and spread of the feel-good campus pages is, in a way, a response to the viral gossip sites that have cropped up over the last few years.
“[JuicyCampus.com] spread to about 500 campuses, becoming the largest gossip website in the U.S. before it was forced to shut down in February 2009,” she reports.
UFV Compliments didn’t form in direct response to these gossip pages, but Waxman hypothesizes pages like it help combat negative sentiments simply by providing a way to share positive thoughts.
And at the end of the day, the creator is just a regular student operating without an ulterior agenda. She simply wants to do good things for their campus community – no matter what size.