The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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@iamraybucknell

Student Perspectives on Bucknell Life
%40iamraybucknell

With close to nine thousand instagram followers the “I am ‘Ray Bucknell” Instagram account maintains high levels of engagement weekly with the student takeovers. 

Leah Mallett is the Associate Director of Market Strategy for the Bucknell Division of Marketing and Communications. In her positions she manages the IamRay student schedule and the account itself, and she took some time with the Bucknellian to explain the logistics behind running the account.

The account was originally created eight years ago in August 2015. Since its initial launch the account has done weekly takeovers ever since and has featured nearly five hundred students. Indications that the account was of interest to students, prospective students, and the Bucknell community at large were clear when the account generated two thousand followers during its first year and a half.

Weekly student takeovers begin on Mondays and continue until Sunday. Before the process students agree to the preliminary content guidelines laid out, Mallett noted “To maintain authenticity, the content is not reviewed or approved by the Division of Marketing & Communications prior to posting.” With this authenticity throughout the week regarding the pictures, videos, and overall content that students chose to share, it contributes to what Mallett describes as the “unique Bucknell experience,” each student has.

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IamRay differs from typical Bucknell marketing in a variety of ways. “The Division of Marketing and Communications manages all of the University’s official (@BucknellU) social media channels as well as @iamraybucknell,” Mallett explained. While Bucknell University’s page may feature student content from time to time, the IamRay account is what Mallett described as “the only ‘official’ account that has students posting directly.”

Annie Fenwick ‘25 is the student taking over the account this week. As a Political Science major and Philosophy minor Fenwick commented on her experience thus far.

“Being on @iamraybucknell’s account this week means more to me than just running an Instagram account,” Fenwick said. “Each week, a new student takes over, sharing a piece of their unique college experience. When I was asked to run the account, it gave me the opportunity to reflect on what makes my Bucknell experience so special.”

On campus Fenwick is involved in the Women in Finance Club, Greek Life, and is a Social Media and Marketing Intern for the Career Center

“As the social media and marketing manager for the Career Center, one of my main goals was to increase their accounts’ followers,” she continued. “I had the chance to promote the Career Center in my post this week, by doing a takeover at the career fair. After my post, I was so excited to see the number of people who followed the Career Center account increase. It was really gratifying to see the results of the work I put in behind the scenes pay off.”

Mallett explained that the original intentions for the account were to offer a way to display student voices on social media. Now reaching around 10,000 accounts and receiving 200,000 impressions each month, the account is living up to those goals. 

“Since its launch, the account has grown to be a key channel that supports the University’s marketing initiatives,” Mallett says. “Now, the primary target audience of the account is prospective students — to give them an authentic view of life at Bucknell, directly from real students. It is often used in the University’s admissions marketing materials, promoted through digital advertising and included as one of the key ways to see what being a student at Bucknell is like”

She shared that there have now been many occasions where students have used the account as a tool during their college admission and search process. A recent senior who took over the account was a follower since her time as a prospective student. She shared that she used the account and dreamt of being @iamraybucknell during her time here.

“I loved being featured as @iamraybucknell for the week! It was so rewarding having the opportunity to talk about what I’ve been involved in and my favorite aspects of campus life,” said Megan Collins ‘24. “It was nice being able to highlight specific elements that have made my Bucknell experience these past 4 years so special. I was excited thinking about prospective and future students seeing my posts and getting a feel for what it’s like being a student here! I think it’s a great way to shed light on all of the amazing opportunities Bucknell has to offer.” 

While there is a heavy focus on the accounts used as recruitment for prospective students, the following reaches a much larger audience as well. The Bucknell community from current students to alumni follow the account to keep up with the events, and what’s happening on campus. Mallet noted the enjoyment many have shared towards seeing their peers run the account:

“It has been really energizing to watch the excitement for the account continue to grow year after year,” Mallett said. “The footprint of the @iamraybucknell account is quite impressive — with takeovers happening from many corners of the globe, including two from the Olympic Village in Tokyo, as well as from countless hidden gem locations right here on campus.”

While the excitement around the account and being featured continues, the Marketing team plans to carry on with the account weekly. Students who have a desire to run the account and share their Bucknell experience can fill out the form on the “Who is Ray Bucknell?” page of the Bucknell website, or by contacting Leah Mallett (@[email protected]).

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Juliana Rodrigues
Juliana Rodrigues, Special Features Editor

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