NYU is notorious for being a college with no campus community. Unlike students in state schools, many students are forced to craft communities on their own. One group is attempting to address this issue of community with one thing — Snapchat.
Within a matter of months, the Snapchat group NYU Vibes has garnered over 1,000 members and is constantly growing. The head of this phenomenon is Stern freshman Luis Escobar, also known as Prez Esco. President Escobar and his board — Ryan Kelly, Carlos Bastidas, Anouar Smith, Kendrick Mercedes and Seth “Benji” Gonzalez, all freshmen in CAS — have created what they think is an answer to the community dilemma.
“NYU isn’t really like a campus type, so I think it’s the perfect school for a snap group chat like NYU Vibes. I think it just formed a campus for us,” Bastidas said.
Escobar accredits the group’s creation to the New York State Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program, a program dedicated to providing a college education to New York state low-income minority students. During the OP Program, Luis met the future board of NYU Vibes. The actual idea came from Smith.
“So, on his couch, he told me an idea, but I didn’t really do what he wanted me to do,” Escobar said. “I did something differently.”
Restricted by Snapchat guidelines, Escobar was forced to rely on word of mouth. Seemingly overnight, NYU Vibes spread like wildfire. When the NYU Vibes community grew to about 500 or 600 people, Escobar said he decided to get his board.
At first, NYU Vibes’ primary purpose was to promote parties and funny things; however, as the school year went on the group developed a different message. Though it still functions as a party promoter, it also serves as a place to connect all students, Escobar said.
NYU Vibes has found a way to even connect to the Tandon School of Engineering. Escobar said that Tandon is really left out of parties.
To address that problem, Escobar has enlisted people to promote NYU Vibes in Brooklyn. This is all in an effort to knit together a communal feeling that is considered nonexistent between the two boroughs.
When asked how NYU Vibes impacted them individually, each board member emphasized the social benefits.
“It definitely gave me some popularity. It’s good to know like people, people know who I am … It just boosts your confidence a little bit more, and it’s also a community, man,” Gonzalez said.
In a matter of months, the board has built this group from a small collection of friends to a community that gives people a sense of inclusivity. If you want to be a part of NYU Vibes, add Escobar on Snapchat at esco_luis, and he will add you into the group.
Email Jalil Johnson at [email protected]