New social media platforms reveal the partying side of college life

Staff Writer

There is a new trend in social media: accounts targeting a specific university that repost photos and videos of extreme nudity and illicit drug use by students.

Nudity and drug use are showcased in illicit Snapchat and Yik Yak accounts at St. Edward’s University and on campuses across the country. Other accounts can be found on Facebook and Twitter. The Snapchat account, Stedsraw, was created in March.

Accounts like Stedsraw upload user-sent content to its story. However, because of Snapchat’s system limits on allowing its users to only post pictures and videos that are taken in real time, the administrators of the account use an app called Snap Upload to post the photos and videos that they receive from St. Edward’s students.

It generated so little traffic that the administrator, who is anonymous, took it down on April 11.

The lack of enthusiastic participation by St. Edward’s students apparently made the task of running the Snapchat “impossible,” according to the administrator.

The administrator of Stedsraw posted a message shortly before shutting down that said, “If no snaps by tomorrow, closing Stedsraw.”

“I knew we had a Yik Yak but I figured at some point we had a Snapchat. Like anything on social platforms, it’s entertaining,” sophomore Brian Omondi said.

The university has no affiliation with any of the aforementioned social media accounts, said Mischelle Diaz, St. Edward’s director of communications.

“St. Edward’s University administration is not connected to these accounts in any way,” Diaz said.“It is disappointing to see students using the St. Edward’s name or identity for hashtags and social media accounts with content that clearly does not represent the values and mission of the university.”

While Stedsraw shut down, there’s a similar Snapchat at the University of Texas at Austin. UTunrated is almost a constant stream of content. Unlike Stedsraw, UTunrated draws from the 39,979 students that attend UT.

While this may register as a trivial situation, the rapid growth of such explicit, university-based accounts is pervading many different social media platforms.

Besides Snapchat, similar accounts can be found on Facebook in the form of St. Edward’s University Confessions and even on a separate app called Yik Yak.

Yik Yak is arguably the most popular of all the different platforms with regard to illicit university accounts. The Yik Yak account for St. Edward’s has been in existence for over a year.

The app allows members of the university community to post messages anonymously. Think of it as Twitter, but without the fuss of signing up. All posts within a five mile radius are then all put in a collective timeline through which many scroll for entertainment.

While the app does not allow photos or videos to be shared, the topics that are discussed on the timeline are typically relating to sex, partying and drug use.

“There was this post that said ‘I will (expletive) you if you get me pizza,’” freshman Luis Cervantes said.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel reveals that the app was not meant to be used as a means of sending explicit images.

Co-founder of Yik-Yak Brooks Buffington said in an interview with CNN that “the app was made for college-age users or above, for college campuses to act as a virtual bulletin board.”

There is support to deal with the potential harassments that students might face as they use the app. Snapchat provides a resource to report any harassment that its users might encounter.

SEU also offers support in dealing with harassment on social media. The university encourages students to contact the Dean of Students if they are being targeted, harassed or threatened via social media.