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Social media page aimed to keep FSU students accountable as campus life resumes

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 10:36 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The first week of classes at Florida State University has already landed some students in hot water.

Over the weekend, 11 people were arrested in connection to a house party at a recently-banned fraternity on campus.

That incident prompted admonishment from FSU President John Thrasher, and a strong reaction from fellow students.

Amidst all of this has sprouted a new, modern way that some are hoping will hold students accountable in the age of COVID-19.

The latest effort is an Instagram page, and it’s gaining a lot of attention. Some might call it social shaming, but the creators say they want to create a sense of collective responsibility.

Candid videos sent in by anonymous sources; that’s how a new Instagram page aims to hold students at Florida State accountable.

“The people who are coming back and partying and disregarding all of this, they have the potential to kill people and ruin people’s life,” said one of the creators of the Mask Up FSU Instagram page, who did not want to be identified.

The anonymous creators describe themselves as “very” active members of the FSU community, saying they got the idea while driving around campus and noticing a lot of students weren’t abiding by social distancing guidelines.

“Not our intention to spread hate or bullying or any type of fears online. But, we do need to bring awareness that there are harsher consequences to going out and partying.”

The first page gained 4,000 followers in just three days before it was suspended for unknown reasons. The new one now has more than 1,000 in roughly 24 hours.

It’s, perhaps, a welcome tool as many students unaffiliated with the page say they’re frustrated by recent actions.

“They shouldn’t be doing that, but they are, and I can’t do anything about it,” said Nicole Rodriguez, a sophomore at FSU.

“I was more just kind of annoyed that other students would put themselves before anyone else,” added FSU freshman Emma Cagwin.

The page is also aiming to change irresponsible actions.

“Through this account, we are able to work with the administration and work with a lot of our peers our age and be able to use social media as a method of activism.”

The creators say they’re using it as a proactive platform to share information from university administrators and, in the future, helpful tools to combat the virus.

The creators say they have received a number of threats from some students who feel targeted by the posts. However, they say their goal is to keep the public safe.

Copyright 2020 WCTV. All rights reserved.

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