Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Daily Email Edition

Get MN Daily NEWS delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday!


UMN students weigh in on current environment of Snapchat communities

With the launch of campus Snapchat communities, UMN students utilize the stories to engage with other students and have conversations with one another.
Image by Mary Ellen Ritter
The new feature has elicited strong opinions from students.

The University of Minnesota community Snapchat story is facing strong opinions from students due to posts of spam, political commentary and harassment.

Snapchat Community, a new feature launched by Snapchat, allows college students to interact with one another through a public Snapchat story designed for students who go to a specific school. The University is part of the Snapchat Community and has individual Snapchat stories for each graduating class.

University students utilize the Snapchat communities to post about their daily lives, promote individual work or student events, sell tickets to concerts or sporting events and engage in political discussions. Some University students begin to have a large following on social media due to their posts on the communities.

Arya Lucht, a second-year transfer student, joined the University Snapchat story last spring and occasionally posts her Depop (online seller marketplace that allows people to sell clothes and various goods) storefront listings or event promotions on the story.

Lucht said the community is both a positive and negative environment to be in because of people’s various attitudes.

“I feel like there is always a handful of people who want to be negative and put people down instead of being like, ‘Oh, it’s cool that you’re doing that,’ or just not saying anything and moving on,” Lucht said.

Lucht added she is not affected by the negativity on most of the Snapchat stories but has been affected by harassment from other students. According to Lucht, a student once took a photo of her without permission and proceeded to call her names, causing her to call out the behavior on the story, but she decided not to report it to the University due to it being a one-off issue.

“I think that Snapchat stories are intended to be a space where people can be positive and like a community,” Lucht said. “It’s not intended to be a debate club or putting each other down or a space where bullying is okay.”

Eric Fritsche, a third-year computer science University student, said he does not mind the content posted on the stories, but the constant spam of content is unwarranted.

With the exception of selling tickets, since many students may choose to not attend a University sporting event, students should not have to skip multiple stories because of the constant spam of other topics, Fritsche said.

Fritsche uses the Snapchat stories to promote his YouTube videos, which consists of vlogs and yearly recap videos. He said he wants other University students to view his work because of the effort he puts into his videos.

“Just like with any online discourse, or even in-person discourse, as long as the discourse is done in an amicable back-and-forth, then it’s fine,” Fritsche said. “But if it’s just, ‘Oh, their opinion is different, that’s bad,’ that’s unwarranted and doesn’t add anything.”

Fritsche added the communities can fuel more harassment due to everyone in the community not knowing each other and being on a semi-anonymous platform, despite Snapchat allowing users to change their names.

“It can make someone be like, ‘Oh, I can harass this person and I won’t get backlash for it as much as I were to harass them in real life,’” Fritsche said. “It pretty much indirectly promotes harassment because there’s less accountability.”

Third-year political science University student Hanad Mohamoud is ambivalent to the content posted on the Snapchat communities. Mohamoud does not post on the stories but views them often.

He said he likes people who are using the Snapchat stories to spread awareness for a specific cause and thinks challenging other people’s ideas is good, but ultimately, it is not a place to engage in that discussion.

“I think it’s really admirable that people are coming out and showing support for ideas that they truly believe in,” Mohamoud said. “I don’t think it’s conducive to have an open dialogue where somebody posts a TikTok of something horrific or tragic that is obviously important, but someone who’s obviously on the other side who is going against someone for posting their opinion.”

University students have access to three different class stories but are only allowed to post on their class story. For example, a student in the class of 2025 is only allowed to post on the class of 2025 story but is able to view stories from the classes of 2024 and 2026.

Each story differs in the type of content posted, with the class of 2025 story having more vlogs and the class of 2024 story having more political discussions and event promotions.

“The differences [in content] help reflect the classes as a whole,” Fritsche said. “Generally, the friends I meet in x year are all slightly different compared to the class of the following year.”

When Mohamoud first joined the Snapchat community, he expected University students to post memes or videos of their everyday lives but said the political discussions have taken over the stories.

Despite the negativity, Lucht met some friends through the communities.

“Most people, other than the few loud minority, are super chill and respectful and we’re all like, ‘Hey, let’s meet up for coffee sometime,’ or ‘Hey, let’s hang out,’” Lucht said. “With a lot of studies or people who are sharing their events or gatherings, they usually get a lot of engagement.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Accessibility Toolbar

Comments (0)

All The Minnesota Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *