With a new magazine on the way and plans to meet up during Preview Days, the Penn Class of 2017 Facebook page is abuzz with excitement.
The current student-run page was started by incoming freshmen Austin Bream and Liz Nunez after the original Facebook page, operated by roommate-matching website Roomsurf, was overrun with spam posts. Hoping to create a student-run group, they created the page, successfully gaining 1,400 members “after some criticism and doubts,” according to Nunez.
“Along with five other admins, I approve new members and manage all the comments to make sure they are appropriate, not spam. I have also added docs to give places for discussion,” Bream said in an email.
One of the things that has been created through the Facebook page is The Phillybuster, a magazine started by incoming freshman Juan Sebastian Pinto Diaz. It is intended to be ”the Class of 2017’s very own culture magazine,” and currently has over 35 “future authors, photographers, activists, programmers, designers, ‘scientists’ and researchers,” according to Diaz. He started recruiting and reaching out to his future classmates online and believes that the Facebook page offers a beneficial mode of communication.
“Interacting with my future classmates online definitely helped me in many ways,” he said, “from knowing a little bit about them before preview day to making dreams like The Phillybuster a reality.”
Incoming freshman Taylor Concannon, who joined the group on April 1, has utilized the group as a means to connect with his future classmates and has built relationships through the page.
“What’s great is that we’re not just replying to a post but to each other. We’re mentioning each other and holding conversations within the comments about things we share in common.”
Laira Torres, an incoming freshman who joined the group the day she was admitted, highlighted the friendly interactions on the class page.
“It’s already a great dynamic and it has surely helped to see what personalities one’s class will be composed of.”
Not all the members in the Facebook page are incoming freshman — current Penn students have also joined the group, hoping to answer questions. For some of them, the motivation stemmed from their own experiences coming in as a freshman themselves.
“I feel like I was misinformed about a lot of things when I was an incoming freshman. I would have really appreciated it if someone had given me realistic information so I could have made better-informed choices,” College freshman Klaudia Amenabar said in an email.
College freshman Jacob Reeder, who found his freshman roommate through the Class of 2016’s Facebook group, also joined the Class of 2017’s group hoping to help the incoming class out. As one of the two official recruitment officers for the University of Pennsylvania Band, he also hoped to build “a network for myself whereby people who are interested in joining can find me through their friends.”
Besides posting about their majors, hometowns and bonding over their love of Muse, the Class of 2017 page also has an online map on which incoming freshman pinpointed their global locations along with all their future classmates. Currently, the map indicates the locations of over 175 people from over 40 countries.
Incoming freshman Ray Clark, who joined the group after receiving his early decision acceptance, said that “everybody is utilizing our class page to do different things.”
“We’re all learning about each other through social media and that’s pretty cool.”
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