Staff writer Eliza Staples spends a cold and misty night learning about Tik Tok and advocacy.

“Is this where we become Tik Tok famous?” These words, from a prospective member upon arriving at the meeting, summed up the general feeling about Columbia’s hottest new student organization, the Tik Tok club.

I arrived at the Sundial a little before 11 pm on Thursday, October 3. I was concerned that this location would not be suitable if it started to rain: did they have another location in case of inclement weather? Little did I know that Tik Tok people are prepared to go off in any weather, at any time. So I bundled up, left the safety of the freshman quad, and struck out for Internet fame. 

The club was founded by Isaac “Ike” Quiles and Rob “Roro” Hwang, both sophomores at CC. From their poster distributed at the meeting, “Tik Tok For a Cause searches for a way to help those in need of funds for medical treatments.” This year, the cause is Operation Smile, which provides cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries for free to those in need. Quiles and Hwang compared their actions to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: making Tik Toks is fun and easy, and can also help draw attention to a key issue. Their goal is to raise around $2,000 for Operation Smile.

Their poster design is top-notch.

They have a solid understanding of the potential Tik Tok market here at Columbia. They mentioned that there are already a handful of students with a strong social media following who could do very well on Tik Tok, and many more students that appreciate a good Tik Tok. And it turns out, people really do appreciate a good Tik Tok: Hwang and Quiles’s latest one has over 400,000 views. As a sample of their work, they showed us one wherein Hwang sneaks up on Quiles in the elevator and throws a sriracha-covered tortilla at him. I genuinely cannot stop thinking about this. 

Throughout our entire conversation, both leaders reminded the gathered members that they weren’t in this to get famous. Rather, they believed that through Tik Tok, they could make a difference and have fun. 

On Instagram, Isaac Quiles is @isaac_quiles and Rob Hwang is @rorobrand. Their Tik Tok is @waterpong.

the beautiful monster behind it all, via Wikimedia