Looking Behind Columbia Crushes
Written by Jenny Zhu
During your time at Columbia, you’ll probably have the opportunity to read some of those pinnacle works of western literature: Homer, Euripides, Morrison, Woolf, and…Columbia Crushes. Indeed, the page seems to possess an ever-popular presence on campus that we thought called for a deeper look into the Facebook page. We put Bwoggers Jenny Zhu and Aliya Schneider to the task.
Among the myriad of Sims ads and dubious columbia buy/sell memes, Columbia Crushes posts have seem to become a staple of our Facebook feeds: “XYZ Name, i don’t know if i’m your type but you have great hair and a beautiful smile,” or “boy wearing a navy sweater on the 4th floor of butler today…you hurt my ovaries thanks.”
Although we recently discovered multiple students rather than one individual manage the page, that group cites a desire to stay anonymous to the general public. “Some of us aren’t comfortable with the attention we would draw to ourselves. We believe the anonymity is what serves our page best. Batman personally advised to serve without publicity,” the students said.
Founded in March 21, 2017, the Columbia Crushes page mainly aims “create an outlet where students can communicate without the risk, shyness, or timidness, and a platform where we can signal and test the water freely so that opportunities for a romantic connection don’t go unseized,” according to its founders.
Reactions from some students featured on the page, such as freshmen Arthur Chen and Tommy Eldredge, have been “confused” and “conflicted,” respectively, but overall good. The connection aspect of the page has also seemed to succeed.
“I mean I have no idea who wrote my post, though it was probably a friend. I would be down to meet this person,” Chen said.
The page receives around 40 to 60 submissions every day, and together the administrators spend around 30 minutes collectively to post them. But not all of the submissions go up on the page, as freshman Tommy Eldredge noticed. “I’ve sent a bunch of ridiculous ones to my friend Carl but they never made it past the admins,” Eldredge said. So why didn’t your submission get posted?
The founders of Columbia Crushes, while also stating that most submissions aren’t filtered out, alluded to the fact that they try to only post genuine submissions. “Genuine submissions are what we originally created the page for, and they account for the bulk of our content,” they said. Because they read every single submission, they develop a keen sense for the “tone of the author.”
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t profess your undying, only half-ironic love for your best friend via Columbia Crush message. “We do post some submissions that are made to give a shout out to a friend or made in good fun. For example, if you write in a submission addressed at your roommate that details your unique interaction with them as their roommate, [we] don’t see any harm in that,” the administrators said.
While the page is aimed to and largely help students make connections, the administrators have to deal with some internal struggles as well. Some of the filtering the page has to does is for submissions that prove “too graphic or make the subject of the post uncomfortable.” And, after a couple days predominated by posts targeted towards one particular group (e.g. “where are all the cute south asians at”), Columbia Crushes published an apology post, in which it not only repented for its earlier decisions to post those types of submissions, but also disavowed posting in the futures.
“We may err from time to time, like we did recently, explained in our note. If there’s any content you deem inappropriate, uncomfortable, or disrespectful, please let us know by messaging us,” the administrators of the page said. “If you comment on the post, we may miss them. And please understand we need to edit or filter some posts to adhere to Facebook policies for public pages.”
Despite this very little trouble in the water, some students overall look forward to Columbia Crushes posts. When asked if there was anything about the page that should be changed, Eldredge said it was “pretty good the way it is,” while Chen said, “Nah.”
Love via Pixabay
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