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Humans of UMass: A Look Inside the Real Campus

Some of you may be familiar with “Humans of New York.” If you’re not, it’s a blog that was created by Brandon Stanton in the summer of 2010. The site showcases pictures of a variety of people in New York City, accompanied by notable quotes from those being photographed.

With almost 4 million followers on Facebook, UMass freshman Stephanie Ramos, inspired by the page and its impact, decided to apply the concept to the inhabitants of our very own UMass campus.

 

Even though she just began the page in late January, the Humans of UMass page already has almost 2,000 followers on Facebook. Intrigued and inspired, I went out and took the opportunity to sit down and talk with her about her own fast-growing page:

Me: Why did you want to start this page?

Stephanie: I’ve always been a fan of Humans of New York. I was looking at the page one day and began wondering about the possibility of starting one at UMass. I did some research on the photographer of Humans of New York and found out that he started it all on Tumblr but I thought that a Facebook page would work better for me because most people are on that site. From there I wrote down on a piece of paper 10 questions that I would choose from to ask people, and the rest is history.

Me: What about a person makes you want to talk to them and include them on the page? What makes them stand out/unique?

Stephanie: At first I stuck with going up to my friends and people in my building. It’s really scary going up to people and asking to take their picture for a blog. They can be caught off guard and kind of hesitant to participate. But overall I like to go up to people who look interesting: someone who defies social norms. I feel like whose people have more to say and want to say more too.

Me: What do you hope to achieve with the page in the long run?

Stephanie: There is no end goal. Photography is a hobby of mine and when I’m stressed, want to procrastinate, or even when I’m simply walking around, I’ll go up to someone. I want to spread people’s stories and share whatever message they want to spread either about themselves or to others. While interviewing I learn a lot about that person in such a short amount of time. You’d be amazed at how much people are willing to tell you or how one question leads to a life story.

 

If you have some free time, or are simply interested in finding out about your peers, check out the page! Humans of UMass can be found at https://www.facebook.com/HumansofUMass.

Photo Sources: 1, 2.

Contributors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst
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