The Face Behind UNH Confessions

Some people tell their deepest, darkest secrets to their best friend. UNH tells them to this guy:  Michael Barnard, a freshman from Scituate, MA, who started UNH Confessions, a Facebook page that has 5,700 “likes” and counting. He knows your most embarrassing drunken blunders, and the weird things you do when you’re alone in your car or elsewhere, but who is he and what is life like for the moderator of such a popular page? I asked Michael a few questions to find out.

Major: Undeclared COLA, but leaning towards Nurition or Marketing

Favorite place to party at UNH: PIKE

Best part of freshman year so far: Hanging with my boys in 4 Short Stoke, and having my roommate move out at the beginning of this semester, resulting in a double room to myself.

What made you want to start the UNH Confessions page? Were you surprised by the popularity? I made the UNH Confessions page because I wanted to create a way for UNH to engage with each other about stories, topics, and ideas that the typical college kid is interested in. Whether it be drunken stories from the weekend, shout outs to people that deserve recognition for their hard work, or the pros and cons of our campus. I decided that it would be the perfect way to put the pieces together and actually understand what goes down within UNH.

How do you keep up with all of the notifications? It must be overwhelming. How do you decide which confessions are worthy of posting on the page? I actually changed the settings so I don't receive any notifications on my phone. The page is linked to my actual Facebook profile, so when I want to switch from one to the other I just click UNH Confessions on my side margin. The notifications are exciting because I've grown accustomed to seeing the average amount on certain activity. When I see a number out of the norm, I know that it’s going to blow up with likes.I decide what to post to depending on the creativity, emotion, and logic of the "Confession." I tend to post the funnier and adventurous stories because most people enjoy those posts.

What was behind your decision to announce your identity at the top of the UNH Confessions page? My decision to reveal my identity at the top of the page is because to me, college is all about creating connections for future resources. Instead of hiding out I'd rather have as many people know who I am as possible because you never know how it could help you later on down the road.

Any favorite confessions you have received? My favorite post so far would have to be "UNH is probably one of the only schools where you can save a table in the dining hall just by slapping your iPhone on it. Like at any other school no one would look at that phone and think, ‘someone's sitting there,’ and move on, they would just flat out take it and bounce. I'm glad we have this universal trust system." I enjoy this post because I find it so true. I never hear of thefts and I'm glad that for the most part, I can trust my peers here at UNH.

Has any confession gone too far or made you feel like you had some responsibility to report it? I am thinking particularly of a guy who confessed to smashing the window off of a car at the Cottages. I have not received any threatening posts thus far. Since everything is anonymous, there is not much one can do. When it comes to confessions seeking advice and help, UNH has done a great job showing support for one another and being there when we need support the most.

Further thoughts? Being a freshman, I feel like I know more things about this campus than some one who has already graduated because of what I've read. It's a great feeling and I can say that creating this page has changed my life for the better.