The owner of the Queens College Confessions page, whose identity will remain private, recently spoke with The Knight News about the history of the account and the role it’s played in helping students prepare for the Fall semester.
Known as @qc_confessions, the Instagram account was created back in February, to give students the chance to submit anonymous confessions about any particular topic or issue. “Originally when I made the account, it was meant to be a fun way to bring students together,” the owner reveals, explaining how despite there being Discord servers, no central hub had been created for students to share their experiences. “They all felt segregated, still leaving that void of having a larger community aspect.”
Amassing over 1000 followers, the rapid growth of @qc_confessions was an accomplishment that exceeded the owner’s expectations. “When I started it, I set a goal for myself, for fun, that if it didn’t hit a certain arbitrary number of followers at a certain point, then I’d take it as being a failed experiment and probably would have let it go. Honestly, I never assumed it would gain as many followers as it did,” they elaborate to The Knight News.
Now with over 1050 confessions as of August 17, posts range from a number of different topics including clubs, class recommendations, and personal thoughts. Recently, the concerns have been centered on the upcoming Fall semester including vaccine verifications, ID cards, parking, and on-campus events. In Confession 1011, one student writes, “I’ve never been to campus before…kinda nervous.” Another post, Confession 996, also asks, “A lot of classes filled up including some I wanted to take. Now IDK which ones to take for Gen. Ed. Requirements. What classes y’all recommend?”
When asked more about the confessions, the owner of the page highlights how this shows just how diverse Queens College is, pointing out that, “Beyond the fun jokes, I notice that students, whether it would be suggestions or improvements for the college, comment on certain classes and ask genuine questions that are school related. They have a lot to say.” These questions have motivated Queens College Confessions to provide vital information for students, such as where to receive IDs, submit vaccine cards, apply for parking, etc.
Confessions also haven’t been limited to just students, but faculty as well, with both groups expressing their own thoughts about CUNY regarding their handling of the pandemic, financial aid, account holds, and the delay in announcing their protocols for in-person classes.
With recent news emerging from the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) that faculty and staff are considering to strike due to the lack of cohesion for transitioning back to on-campus operations, the frustration expressed in these posts isn’t surprising. Confession 810, which was written back in May 10, perfectly captures this: “I’m an adjunct and still don’t know if I’m teaching online or in-person for the Fall.”
When asked for their own thoughts surrounding the transition back to in-person classes, the owner of @qc_confessions explained that despite the decision being a sudden development for many, navigating the pandemic has been new territory for everyone. They also pointed out how glad they were that staff came out to voice their concerns on the page. When asked what they thought made faculty feel welcomed to post their confessions, the owner explains how, “confidentiality and anonymity are at the cornerstone of what makes this space work, and I would never betray that trust.”
Freshman and sophomore students, who haven’t been on the Queens College campus at all, have received the most help regarding logistics and being exposed to a supportive community.
“More so than the jokes, [Queens College Confessions] has become a space where students can ask important questions about classes, Queens College itself, CUNYFirst, events, and have their fellow students respond and help them out with answers,” the owner says in response to what role they believe the page plays in the lives of the campus community.
It remains to be seen how the Fall will unfold throughout the coming months, however, one thing that’s for sure is that Queens College Confessions will continue to be a microphone for students and faculty to have their voices heard.
To join Queens College Confessions and post your own confessions, you can follow the page on Instagram at @qc_confessions.