Students explore ‘subreddit’

Pulse Reporter and Pulse Reporter

Some people complain that the Internet distances people, but freshman Brett Rosebrock believes it’s the perfect way to bring them together.

Rosebrock, a computer science major, is a moderator on /r/BGSU, a subreddit of the popular social media website, Reddit.com.

Reddit.com is a website where users can submit content in the form of links or text, where other users can vote on the content.

Students at the University can visit the website at www.reddit.com/r/BGSU.

The University’s subreddit offers videos, pictures, and discussion boards about different topics to users.

The purpose of /r/BGSU is to allow users to share content relating to the University and the city of Bowling Green.

Senior Chris Berg, science education major, said he has been a Reddit user for years, but doesn’t visit /r/BGSU very often because posts aren’t very recent.

“I would be more active in the subreddit if more people signed up and posted on a more daily basis,” he said. “I definitely think the more people that subscribe, the better it’ll get.”

Rosebrock said he had been surfing the website when he noticed there was a subreddit specifically created for users to talk about the University, but that it wasn’t very active.

“The most recent post was almost six months ago and the creator had not been on in six months,” he said. “I thought it would be an exciting idea to take over the subreddit and try to make it more popular and increase the number of posts regarding BGSU and [the community of BG].”

Rosebrock said he and a friend petitioned the website to take over /r/BGSU, becoming the new moderators.

The subreddit currently has 260 subscribers, with new posts submitted every few days.

Posts have ranged in topic such as University—related jokes to alumni keeping track of campus events and sports, Rosebrock said.

Senior Patrick Pugh, who has had a Reddit account for a few weeks, thinks /r/BGSU has the potential to be a great tool for not only current students, but also for incoming students to get a feel of the University.

“I’ve talked to incoming students [in the subreddit] to tell them what’s in town and the ins and outs of dorm life,” Pugh said. “If there are questions you didn’t want to ask the tour guide, this is the place you can ask it.”

Pugh said the site’s open and informal atmosphere is what sets Reddit apart from other social media websites.

“People are actually conversing with each other instead of just saying, ‘Hey, look at my pictures!’” Pugh said.

Dr. Montana Miller, popular culture professor, who has taught a class on the subject, said online communities become successful when friends of the users introduce their friends to the website.

“People like to hang out where their friends are. If they’re all on online communities, that’s where they’ll go,” she said.

Miller also noted that online communities make connecting easier for some students.

“It’s the ability to socialize without getting their asses off their chairs,” she said. “[Online communities] take all the work out of socializing.”

Rosebrock said current students and alumni have been using the subreddit to share their opinions on recent campus news with each other anonymously.

Several posts were about faculty cuts and the Student Legacy Program, he said.

Rosebrock assures users that the subreddit is a safe place to talk about the University.

“As the mod, I can promise users that I won’t remove a post because of an opinion you have about BGSU,” he said.

Dr. Miller agreed that it’s good to have an outlet where students can post about the University without fear of those in power, but worries that the anonymity can give users confidence to be inappropriate.

“I’m not a big fan of anonymous commenting,” she said. “It turns into a free for all of really vicious comments.”

However, Pugh insists the anonymity is what encourages users to post honestly.

“There are no stupid questions and people won’t hold back,” he said. “I think if I knew it existed when I was a freshman, I would have looked forward to things like that.”