R.E.A.L Royalty: The newly crowned Mr. Pirate and Miss Hampton University

NICOLE PECHACEK- STAFF WRITER

Photo courtesy of HU Student Activities

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic canceling many large events at Hampton, the Greer Dawson Wilson Student Leadership Program and Student Activities were able to host both the Miss Hampton University and Mr. Pirate pageants virtually. Instead of Ogden Hall’s stage, Hampton students gathered online to cheer on the pageant contestants, who competed from their homes around the country.

Inspired by Beyonce’s recent film, the “Black is King” 19th annual Mr. Pirate pageant streamed Sept. 27 on YouTube between contestants Jordan Thomas Ray and Elias James Fambro. After various segments, Ray was announced the 19th Mr. Pirate by five guest judges at the end of the video stream. Despite the lack of spotlights and cheers from students, Jordan said that he still felt the energy when he found out he was the winner of this year’s pageant.

“I worked extremely hard for this,” Ray said. “When I won, I just jumped up in excitement because it was a lifetime goal that was achieved.”

Jordan Ray, a senior liberal studies major with an emphasis in community reform, had been dreaming of winning Mr. Pirate since his first year. His Project Royalty Platform is still planned to start this year as a virtual way for students to connect and network as well as tutor to help empower black youth.

“My plans are to create a connection board with all the students through Zoom calls around two to three times a month,” Ray said. “That’s what I’m going to use to connect us, and I plan to encourage people to step out into the community and be a part of different things. I’m going to create a committee for all Hampton students as a part of a community outreach program where we’re going to go out and empower our youth by tutoring them online.”

Later on that weekend, the “Black is Queen” 63rd annual Miss Hampton University Pageant had eight contestants aiming for the crown, but Christian Peterson was the one to win it all. Peterson, a senior business management major, learned to love pageantry from her sister and was inspired to compete for herself.

“My sister is one of my biggest influences as far as pageantry goes,” Peterson said. “She’s always been very involved in pageants and dancing. A lot of people have this misconception that pageants are kind of superficial, but once you get into them, you realize that a lot of those women that compete in pageants are very educated. They’re really about what they stand for as far as their platforms go and they’re really committed to it.”

Peterson’s platform, Raising Excellence in African American Leaders, also known as R.E.A.L, is a mission to enhance leadership in college and the workforce in the Black community. She has started implementing her program in her hometown of Columbia, South Carolina, despite the pandemic’s hindrances.

“I began the R.E.A.L program at my high school, and I started talking to my old guidance counselor and people at home about it,” Peterson said. “I began with schools, churches and even small community events. I realized I could reach a wider group of people, so I began thinking of what kind of events I could do, not only for people who are coming into college but also college-aged people who are about to start going into the real world. I began thinking, OK, we can do different types of series where we highlight careers, so not only is this showing the career but it’s also showing kids out of high school you can be a young African American and still be successful in the world.”

Peterson was officially crowned the 63rd Miss Hampton University during Hampton’s Coronation ceremony Oct. 7. During this event, Peterson gave a speech where she thanked President Dr. William R. Harvey, and the first lady, Norma B. Harvey, as well as SLP and many others for allowing her to become their new Miss Hampton University.

In addition to showcasing these sacred traditions of crowning both
Mr. Pirate and Miss Hampton, these pageants show how large-scale campus events can still be done virtually and safely. Hopefully, many other campus celebrations use these events as an example to still be able to enjoy the things HU holds dear.

A different world: Hampton’s adaptation to online learning

NOA CADET- STAFF WRITER

With midterm exams fully out of the way, we are rapidly approaching the final stretch of this crazy semester. 2020 has been full of new experiences for everyone and due to the threat of COVID-19, our lives as students have been altered dramatically with our shift from the in-person college experience to virtual platforms. However, Hampton University has made an ongoing effort to mimic the on-campus experience by taking several steps to ensure that Hampton students are still being supplied with the same quality of resources and support that we would get while at our Home by the Sea.

Under the watchful eye of the Student Support Services, Hampton has updated several resource platforms to assist students in being able to seize an opportunity as it comes. For academic assistance, Hampton has gone completely digital, allowing students to register for tutoring online through huachievement.org. On this website, students can register for tutoring help through an online application, in which they can scroll through a list of available tutors, complete with biographies depicting majors, academic accomplishments, available times, and the classes for which the tutors are suitable. This site allows for students in need of assistance to select the best tutors suited for their specific needs, separated by class. In addition to free online tutoring, the website offers faculty-published workshop guides designed to aid student readers. The selections available range from tips and guides to successfully complete the semester, to drafting resumes and cover letters, all meant to offer as much of a guiding hand as possible to the student body during this unprecedented time.

While extremely beneficial, free tutoring and short “how-to” guides aren’t the extent of Hampton’s mission to keep student life from being altered too drastically. With campus closed off to students, and activities such as in-person career fairs and company interest meetings postponed indefinitely, the prospect of securing internships, or even being aware of who is hiring, can seem daunting. To maintain a connection to students, Hampton University’s Career Center has resorted to email as the primary method of ensuring any internship opportunity that they become aware of is passed along to the rest of the Hampton student body. Representing a variety of companies, the Career Center ensures that their emails touch upon a wide array of majors, from theater to the sciences.

“It’s definitely benefited me in many ways,” said HU student Gabriel Lewis, a graduating senior and business management major from Mansfield, Texas. “In fact, for my senior year during this virtual fall semester, I am doing an internship with Mercy Corps, an internship non-profit, as a business development intern. This is all due to a blast from the HU Career Center letting me know they have an opportunity available to Hampton students.”

By redoubling efforts to make as much available to students as possible, Hampton University has made its best effort to recreate the campus experience to foster an environment of academic and professional excellence. Despite this effort, however, the transition to virtual learning has proven to be a tough roadblock to transcend. In a brief conversation, Daelin Brown, a third- year journalism major and writing tutor from Pennsylvania, shared her concerns regarding the effectiveness of online tutoring in comparison to in-person classes.

“I think with virtual tutoring, the sessions take much longer because trying to explain things through a screen is not easy,” said Brown. “Making comments on Google Docs is a nice element. However, so much more explaining comes with not being able to see the student and the document at the same time.”

Brown is most certainly not alone in her concerns. The struggle to achieve the same kind of efficiency and thoroughness through an online interface is felt by all. While Hampton University has done plenty to lessen the burden of trying to make up for the consequences that come with maintaining a safe environment in regards to COVID-19, there is undoubtedly longing for the day in which we return to campus. However, until that day comes, use the resources available and try to finish this school year out strong.

A Discussion with Omega Psi Phi: The Importance of the Black Vote

Noa Cadet- Staff Writer

Photo by Robin Jonathan Deutsch on Unsplash

2020 has proven to be quite a year thus far! Not only has COVID-19 completely altered the way the country operates, but it is also the election year for the President of the United States. An election that is quickly shaping up to be one of the most influential ones in American history. In honor of such an important event, as well as to build active participation for the voting season in the Hampton Roads area, the Gamma Epsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., held their Get Owt and Vote Summit on Friday, September 25, via Instagram Live. Hosted by Hampton University Alumnus, Georquel Goodwin, the Gamma Epsilon Chapter worked tirelessly throughout the event to spread awareness on the importance of voting in the upcoming election, with emphasis on the black vote. 

Dozens of Hampton students gathered on the Instagram live to join the discussion of voter registration, led by Omega Psi Phi. Among that number was the event’s special guest speaker, Nupol Kiazolu, a Hampton University Political Science Major, Black Rights Activist and founder of the National Vote2000 campaign. In her discussion with her fellow Hamptonians, she spoke about the importance of not just the presidential election, but local and state. 

“Local and state elections are some of the most important elections, in the fact that it directly influences the area in which you live, and [the elected officials] are the ones who write the policies that impact you every single day,” Kiazolu stated.

Kiazolu also elaborated on Omega Psi Phi’s message of spurring people to vote. She stressed the importance of black representation in the voting process, stating that with the power of the vote, the black community can work to take control of their neighborhoods, and have the government work for them, instead of the other way around. 

“Politics are a part of your life,” said Georquel Goodwin, commenting on the importance of staying connected and up-to-date with your local representatives. 

The night wasn’t purely centered around encouraging young, black people to vote. As the event drifted into its final minutes, the conversation shifted to the state of black civil rights, as well as the ongoing issue of police brutality in America. In response, Omega Psi Phi and Kiazolu both 

pushed home the message to be one’s own advocate and join the struggle to push for change. Kiazolu in particular spoke up to encourage the audience, and anyone else, to be the changemakers that push for a new America. 

As the event drew to a close, the Hampton audience showed their love for the speech made with positive comments and excited encouragement to foster change in their own communities. The Gamma Epsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. not only succeeded in encouraging the public to vote for their local officials but they, along with Nupol Kiazolu, helped fuel a sense of immense black pride that made this event a roaring success.

Bruce Wilson: Leading by example

Allyson Edge | Staff Writer

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Courtesy of Bruce Wilson

Bruce Wilson may be well known on campus for his position as vice president in the Hampton University Student Government Association, but that is just one of the many hats he wears both on and off campus.

Growing up in the city of Chicago, Wilson was inspired by his parents, who both devoted their careers to service, and he was also able to witness firsthand the rise of other notable leaders such as President Barack Obama. Wilson’s passion for service has led him to attend many different events and participate in various groups in order to initiate change within the Hampton University community as well as society as a whole. 

Most recently, Wilson attended the George Washington University Reclaiming Our Real Estate Panel, which featured major figures in D.C. real estate, Donahue Peoples III and Marcus Goodwin. They discussed issues such as reinvesting into communities and economic development amid gentrification. 

Earlier this month, Bruce was also able to attend the National Campaign for Political & Civic Engagement at Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics. This conference focused on breaking down barriers to democracy in our communities and on our campuses leading up to the presidential election in 2020. 

His work with the Center for Law and Social Policy and Institute for Responsible Citizenship provided him the opportunity to work on topics such as educational policy and recidivism. His research piece, entitled “Between the Lines: Understanding Our Country’s Racialized Response to Opioid Epidemic,” is expected to be published soon. 

Wilson gave a TEDx talk at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia in November. His TEDx talk conveyed how being involved in student government can lead students to be successful in the future. He also touched on the importance of developing strong leadership skills. 

Wilson stated that, for him, the hardest part of being a leader is “having the best intentions for people, policy and your university and people not realizing it. Wanting to be on everyone’s team, but people do not understand how institutional change occurs because it takes time.” 

On campus, a key focus of Wilson’s work this year in HU Student Government, aside from working on the general concerns of students, was the Student Organizational Coalition. The primary goal of this initiative was to push many student-created organizations and bring people together. He noticed that many groups and organizations have the same goals, ambitions and passions, and they end up reaching for the same crowds. 

According to Wilson, one of his favorite quotes, which derives from an African proverb, is: “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.” Thus, Wilson pushed for more partnership and collaborations among student-led groups, which will also help to unify the community. 

For younger students who are thinking about applying or running for a leadership position, Wilson suggests that they “first be unapologetic in your ambition. Figure out what it is you want to do and take it head on. Especially coming in as a freshman, as a transfer, just do it.” He noted that if one is ambitious just for the sake of being ambitious, it will eventually become counterproductive. 

To learn more about Wilson’s philosophy on leadership and the importance of participating in student government, view his TEDx talk at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgKGk9R8E_M. 

Impressions of Beauty, Generation Action and Women’s Caucus host “Anything but Consent”

Kayla Smith | Staff Writer

Dozens of women gathered along with Hampton University student-led organizations such as Impressions of Beauty, Generation Action and Women’s Caucus to have a much needed conversation about consent Feb. 12. 

The organizations gathered to host a night full of education and fun for all who attended. The night started out with an icebreaker used to jump right into the topic. The audience was split into small groups and were given the task of creating skits to portray what consent is and is not based on their prior knowledge. 

Following the skits, the organizations opened the floor to have an open and honest conversation about how to give effective consent by using the easy to remember acronym F.R.I.E.S.: Freely Given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic, Specific.

Talks such as these are not as common on Hampton’s campus as many would like, so this event was one that was very anticipated.

“It’s extremely important to have more events such as the ABC event because it educates the student body on their options,” said HU student Amber Wynne, a third-year nursing major and criminal justice minor from Columbia, Maryland, and the 2019-2020 Generation Action President.

“It also empowers students to have confidence in their sexual health. Proper communication in your relationships creates healthy sexual relationships. We need to ensure that we are empowering students to take more control over their aspect of their health.” 

Based on the turnout for the night, there was a general eagerness among the attendees to have this much-needed conversation. The hosts continued the night by going more in depth about consent. They provided examples of what may happen when someone doesn’t give consent and provided options for those who had not given consent. The tips and educational resources were supplied by the Counseling Center, Chapel and HUPD. 

The organizations that put together this event wanted to ensure that the attendees were enriched with knowledge that will keep them safe and help them be prepared for anything that could happen over Valentine’s Day weekend and beyond.

The night finished with another discussion on how to protect ourselves and stand firm in our decisions. Goodie bags were passed out that were filled with candy, free beauty samples and condoms. A spoken word piece closed the night which exuded the emotion of the event. 

Everyone who attended took something different from the event, but when asked if she thought this event opened her eyes about consent, Brianna Ellis, a first-year pre-nursing major from Peekskill, New York, thought that this event changed her perspective of consent. 

“Usually, when people think about consent, they go right to sex, but going to the event, I was informed that consent isn’t just about sex, it’s about everything that involves asking for permission,” Ellis said. 

At the close of the event, people were able to leave with a new outlook, more knowledge and free goodies. Impressions of Beauty, Generation Action and Women’s Caucus should consider this event a success. 

A new generation of Alpha Kappa Mu

Noa Cadet | Staff Writer

Marking a monumental moment in Hampton University’s history and carving a brand new chapter in its history, the Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society (AKM) held an induction ceremony Feb. 12 in Dett Auditorium to welcome its first line of students since 2016.

According to their official website, Alpha Kappa Mu is an interdisciplinary honor society originally founded at Tennessee A&I College (currently known as Tennessee State University) in Nashville, Tennessee, on Nov. 26, 1937. Dr. George W. Gore Jr., the then-dean of Tennessee A&I College, created the honor society to promote and reward academic excellence among African American scholars and to establish a social outlet in which participants could assist each other in mutual growth. 

Currently, Alpha Kappa Mu has a national total of over 90,000 members, with 67 active chapters located throughout the United States. Due to its roots being centered around black excellence, a good portion of those chapters are located in historically black colleges and universities.

While Hampton University hasn’t played an active role in Alpha Kappa Mu for quite some time, that all changed with the resurgence of Hampton’s Kappa Delta Chapter of AKM, thanks to the participation of its six new members, the efforts of the chapter’s faculty advisor, Dr. Karima Jeffrey, and the support of the English and Foreign Languages department. 

When asked how he felt about being the first line inducted into the society since 2016, Barry Jones, a junior English major and newly inducted AKM vice president from Long Island, New York, was quick to give his thoughts: 

“It feels really good,” Jones said. “I feel even better knowing that I’m surrounded by a group of extremely qualified and intelligent individuals.”

With fresh faces in the chapter, and the world at their fingertips, the new members of the Kappa Delta Chapter certainly aren’t content to just sit around with their new positions. Already, the members are hard at work to create new and exciting events, aimed at improving the campus and lives of students as a whole.

When asked for specifics as to what the future of the chapter might look like, chapter president Cassie Herring, a junior English major from Woodbridge, Virginia, gave us a little peek at what’s to come:

“We’re planning interdisciplinary events that will effect change on campus,” Herring said. “One of the most notable events is our open dialogue with Dr. Norwood, centered around trauma and healing, on March 23rd at 6:30 p.m.”

The 2020 spring semester is already off to a great start, but let’s see how much farther they can take it. Congratulations are in order for all those inducted into the Kappa Delta Chapter. Hampton University as a whole is bound to see a lot more events from the organization as time goes on.

Hampton Players present anti-bullying campaign

Shade Simpson | Staff Writer

The Hampton Players & Company presented “The Hundred Dresses: Stop The Violence, Stop the Bullying” campaign in the Little Theatre of Armstrong Hall. The show ran on Thursday, Feb. 6, and  Friday, Feb. 7, at 8 p.m., and on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 3 p.m. The performers had a crowd full of students, parents, faculty and community members waiting to see the talent that is the Hampton Players.  

The Hundred Dresses is based on the adored children’s book of the same name, which tells the story of a young girl, Wanda Petronski, living in poverty. Wearing the same dress to school every day, Wanda faces torment by her peers, eventually driving her away. It is not until after she moves that they discover the truth behind her dresses. 

The setting, mixed with the elaborate costume designs by Hampton graduate Mia Wynn, produced an atmosphere that drew the audience’s attention and made them feel as though they were in the play. 

Being that the original story takes place in Connecticut during the 1940s and with Wanda being a Polish girl, the director, Ms. Virgelia Banks, did a remarkable job adapting the story to make it fit modern times. The Hundred Dresses cast includes Alexis Barry, Amarah Ennis, Aaliyah Jordan, Alexandria King, Kameron Peters and Ariana Richardson. It is clear that each of the actors and actresses committed to bringing their characters to life to the best of their ability. The play was part of the “Stop the Violence, Stop the Bullying” campaign, aiming to bring awareness to the negative impacts of bullying, and how important it is to treat others with kindness. 

One of the cast members, HU student Amarah Ennis, a first-year journalism major, describes the complexity of the play’s behind-the-scenes process:

“There were a lot of lines to remember in such a short amount of time, and my character, Maddie, was in every scene which made it even harder. There was also no intermission, so everything had to be in place from the start of the show.” 

Despite these challenges, Ennis believes that the cast did a good job of making the show fun and relatable, while keeping the anti-bullying message at the forefront. Ennis added that in addition to enjoying the performances for the HU community and all the support she has since received, she also finds performing the play for elementary, middle and high school students extremely rewarding.

“I almost became a little bit emotional when I saw it because of how believable the actors seemed,” said HU student Paige-Monét Vosges, a senior journalism major from Brooklyn. “It made me realize how cruel children can be and the power that kindness really holds.” 

If you missed this play, make sure you make it to the Hampton Players’ rendition of the award-winning play Gem of the Ocean, written by August Wilson, beginning Thursday, April 2, at 8 p.m. 

Vice President Mike Pence visits Hampton University’s Proton Therapy Institute

Ayanna Maxwell | Editor-In-Chief

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Photo Credit: Glenn Knight

Vice President Mike Pence visited Hampton University’s Proton Therapy Institute on Feb. 19 to engage with students, faculty and HUPTI treatment survivors.

According to a news release from HU’s Office of University Relations, the visit was arranged with the intention of “supporting the University’s efforts in providing state-of-the-art cancer research and delivering cancer treatment to military veterans and their families.” 

With it being Black History Month, Pence’s visit to such a prestigious historically black university was extremely timely. Vice President Pence has established a fervent relationship with Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey and even noted that President Harvey played a major role in the recently signed policy making federal funding for HBCUs permanent. 

“President Harvey has been a real champion of this administration, particularly for HBCUs,” Pence said. 

Vice President Pence and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos participated in a roundtable discussion with various campus leaders: SGA President Jonathan Mack, SGA Vice President Bruce Wilson, Junior Class President Oshae Moore, Student Representative to the Board of Trustees Kenneth Rioland III, Hampton Script Editor-in-Chief Ayanna Maxwell and Miss Student Nursing Association Ebony Johnson. Among students and faculty, Vice President of Administrative Services Dr. Barbara Inman, Senior Vice President Attorney Paul Harris, and Chancellor and Provost Dr. JoAnn Haybsert were present. 

We think Hampton represents the best of HBCUs.” 

––Vice President Mike Pence

The vice president engaged in a meaningful discussion about the current administration’s plans for supporting HBCUs and increasing White House internship and study abroad opportunities for HBCU students. 

“[The current administration has] increased HBCU funding by 17% in real dollars…and restored Pell Grants to being year-round,” Pence said. “The Department of Education also provided more than $500 million in loans for capital financing.” 

DeVos also mentioned a new addition to the recent budget proposal, in which there is “a STEM initiative for HBCUs located in opportunity zones.” 

In regards to expanding White House internship opportunities, Pence plans to continue connecting with HBCUs in order to increase participation in White House internship programs. The current administration also plans to ensure that all students have access to the resources necessary to pursue an education abroad. “We are working to make college more affordable for all students, no matter where they come from,” Sec. DeVos said. 

The opportunity to meet with Vice President Pence and Secretary of Education DeVos was extremely fulfilling, especially for the campus leaders. 

“I witnessed representatives of our student body advocate for the advancement of HBCU recognition and funding,” HU Student Representative to the Board of Trustees Kenneth Rioland III said. “We established our competence and demonstrated our intellectual capacity, showing our students we are equally qualified as other institutions. This is something none of us will ever forget and has given us a greater appreciation for our government and our university.” 

SGA President Jonathan Mack agreed, saying: “Meeting with Vice President Pence as well as Sec. DeVos was a once in a lifetime opportunity… I am thankful to Dr. Harvey as well as everyone else instrumental in allowing us this opportunity to engage in this dialogue.”

The vice president’s visit and roundtable discussion were equally rewarding to the current administration. 

“We think Hampton represents the best of HBCUs,” Pence said. “These students are blessed to be graduating from a school like this.”

Hampton University SGA hosts second annual student-led town hall

Allyson Edge | Staff Writer

The Hampton University Student Government Association on Feb. 29 hosted its second annual student-led town hall in the Student Center Ballroom. 

Specifically, the event was led by the student body president, vice president, student representative to the Board of Trustees and each class president. The idea of the student-led town hall serves as an open dialogue between SGA and the students whom they represent. 

Throughout the event, students had the opportunity to come up to the microphone and pose inquiries or make suggestions. Members of the student government requested that students in the audience be transparent and utilize this platform to communicate in a respectful manner. Some of the concerns raised by students included: fire safety within certain buildings; student parking, specifically in the lots in between White and Holmes Hall; 24-hour co-ed study areas; adequate resident assistant compensation; gourmet bucks increase; and modernization of the business professional dress code, especially for women. Students also proposed making a printer available in each resident hall and having dorm fees applied to printer supplies. 

The Student Government Association has been working on numerous issues this year that have been discussed in the past. HU student Kara Cunningham, a sophomore finance major, leadership studies minor and the vice president of the Finance Committee in SGA Senate, said that she has been working on providing students transportation to and from the health center.

“Currently my bill has been passed by the Senate and is in the works through Administration,” she said.

Additionally, SGA has been working to follow up with the improvement of the WiFi on campus. 

There has also been a concerted effort for student safety on campus. One concrete initiative is changing the outdoor light bulbs to LED, so that they will be brighter in certain areas at night. SGA plans to develop more solutions to benefit the student body based on the suggestions of the Hampton University Police Department. 

When asked about the importance of attending town halls, HU student Kaleb Hackley, a sophomore political science major as well as senate president pro tempore and executive assistant to the SGA president, said: “I believe attendance is important at town halls because they keep the SGA honest and accountable. They also give students the chance to have direct and open communication, which allows us to stay in touch with the student body. This is essential to SGA because it allows us to make changes that the student body supports!” 

For those who were not able to attend the student-led town hall, Hackley would like students “to know that it doesn’t end here. We are always here for you. We were elected to serve you and advocate for your needs and we intend to do just that. I speak for everyone in SGA when I say that our doors are always open. We want to hear your needs, criticismss and suggestions.”

Going beyond social media

Noa Cadet | Staff Writer

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Photo Credit: Pexels user X Y

In this day and age, it is becoming more uncommon to see people not connected to various forms of social media, and to not be well versed in the countless social outlets that these sites offer us. As sites such as Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter take the world by storm, it is easy to lose oneself in the digital world, and we as human beings even begin to curb our behavior in accordance with how we want ourselves to be portrayed on these social media sites. 

The Hampton University Student Counseling Center & Peer Counselor Organization held the first installment of their Mental Health series, entitled  “Curated vs. Candid: The Rise of 

“Finsta,” in the Student Center Atrium on Jan. 29. 

Although the event involved the mental health aspect of all social media, it did zero in on “Finsta” accounts, which are essentially fake Instagram accounts. When asked by the counselors leading the event why the audience had fake Instagram accounts, many Hampton students admitted that while their real Instagram accounts were meant to cater to their followers, and to let the world know what they wanted the world to see, their “Finsta” accounts were kept to a small amount of followers and close friends, and the content consisted of the more private and the more authentic side of themselves, the very things they don’t want the world to know. 

The Finsta account is meant to be more expressive and raw, since it’s reserved for those select few, close friends, whereas the real Instagram account is all about the image and protecting that image, much like how we as people put on different faces for our different audiences. (Do you talk the same way to your professor as you do with your friends?)

When asked about his Instagram, Alex Cooper, a junior music performance major from Washington, D.C., said: “Basically, I like just doing my thing on campus, and posting my dance and performance videos to Instagram.”

This also allows one’s real Instagram to serve as a platform for which to showcase achievements and advertise one’s business if one so desires, thus limiting what someone can post naturally, as a way of preserving the image that the user puts out to their followers. 

Obviously, such behavior also comes with its share of issues as well. Many Hampton students in the audience admitted that at one point in their lives, they did struggle with their own insecurities attached to social media, whether it came from the amount of likes that they received from their pictures and posts, or comparing their own lives to that of other people. Such struggles only serve to increase one’s anxiety and to hinder one’s self-confidence. 

To help alleviate such issues, the counselors in charge of the event suggested that students be more selective about who they like or follow since this could very well change what shows up on their timeline and insert a more positive influence on their social media pages to minimize the comparisons and the anxiety. 

Nia Dix, a graduating senior and marketing major from Atlanta, was able to share her own techniques on lowering anxiety and being able to wind down from the stresses of social media, and just the stresses of day to day life in general. 

“My way of decompressing comes from watching Netflix,” Dix said. “It lets me escape from reality and allows me to not focus on my troubles at the moment.”

Whether it’s watching Netflix, playing video games, going out for a run or just hanging out with the people you love most, it is imperative not to let influences such as social media dictate your life, and your own feelings of self worth. For at the end of the day, all that matters is your own view of yourself, and no one can change that.