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September 22, 2013

Humans of Clark

(c) Jonathan Edelman, Humans of Clark.

(c) Jonathan Edelman – Humans of Clark.

If you’ve been on Clark’s campus for the last three weeks, you’ve heard of Humans of Clark.  Since you (probably) haven’t been on Clark’s campus for the last three weeks, I recommend clicking on that link (or this one) and taking a gander at the page.

Are you back?  Great.

To say that the page has taken campus  by storm is an understatement.  Everyone seems to be talking about the latest profile, and significant effort has been expended to work out who’s behind the project.  (Spoiler Alert: It’s these guys.)  Because this week has been sort of insane for me as a human being, and I can’t really pull everything that’s been happening in my life together into a reasonably intelligent blog post, I thought I’d take a few minutes this week and think out loud about why Humans of Clark has taken off so quickly.

A working hypothesis: It’s because the page taps into something fundamental about Clark – namely, that we all like each other.  I don’t know what things are like wherever you are – another four year college, maybe, or high school – but I know that at my school there were groups of people that, plain and simple, didn’t care for each other.  It was a great school in many ways, but this element of the culture was never something I particularly liked.  It stood in the way of any real sense of community and made things pretty miserable for quite a few kids.

That quite simply doesn’t exist at Clark.  Sure, there may be people who you know less well than others, and not everyone will be your best friend.  But in general, Clarkies like other Clarkies.  And that’s pretty special.  Humans of Clark has become a way for the whole community to get to know each other in ways we wouldn’t usually and, moreover, to show us what we like so much about Clarkies in the first place.  That’s pretty darn special.

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