Last year, a Facebook group took UNM by storm: UNM Confessions. The group accepted anonymous “confessions” from members of the University community through an online form and reposted the results to its Facebook page for all to see. In the span of a single week, the community’s popularity boomed, earning itself a front page article in the DailyLobo and tens of thousands of likes… not to mention thousands of confessions.
“My girlfriend and I had sex in the Third Floor Alvarado Men’s bathroom while my parents were watching TV downstairs.”
The admin of the group fueled the gossip tire fire for a few months, but after a point the confessions stopped showing up on Facebook’s dashboard. The page “sold out” and startedhyping the Whisper app before getting deleted in its entirety. Whether this was the fault ofthe administration or the will of the community remains anyone’s guess, but for better orworse, UNM Confessions seemed little more than a fad, until…
“Whoever the fuck has a pet goose at Lobo Village needs to calm down. A pet goose? Really?”
A new admin resurrected UNM Confessions last month. And in similar fashion, students seeking a frequent dose of campus dish flocked to the page en masse. The confessions took a similar tone to the old ones—frequently crass and often gross… i.e. just what people wantto read. It makes a certain kind of sense—there’s a lot of sensational value in anonymous scandal.
“Sometimes I like to live on the wild side and I submit my assignments in Times New Roman Navajo font instead of Times New Roman #yolo“
But… is UNM as an institution so devoid of culture that “Confessions” is our school’s best unifying feature? As a commuter campus of over 22 thousand, it makes sense that UNM would be somewhat disconnected, but in my time here I’ve never seen the community as riled up for anything else. Lobo sports teams rarely experience heavy student turnout (despite free student admission) and ASUNM elections typically pull less than 8% of the undergraduate community. And student organizations have a laughable turnover rate from year-to-year.
“I was sad when my crush deleted her twitter. I have no reason to log on.”
Everyone on campus busies themselves with their own thing… and maybe that’s exactly why UNM Confessions is so popular. The only thing required to participate is often the only context people have: a familiarity with the University of New Mexico environment. Confessions thus has the benefit of casting the widest possible net while still maintaining a semblance of “community.”
“I feel like the majority of people who like this page aren’t even UNM students. You can go back to your CNM page now, ya weirdoes!”
Is this something we can change? Probably not… it’s a refection of the tabloid culture America is becoming, where truth takes the backseat to printability. It’s a problem larger than UNM Confessions, and bigger than UNM. But still, you might as well start somewhere and read an actual article for every confession you gobble up as a guilty pleasure.