Starting this week, the HWS social media accounts will begin to use a new hashtag, #HWSRefresh. The hashtag aims to spread messages of comfort, community, and motivation to the student body – spreading the message that no one is alone and that comfort can be found around every corner, whether in the Sunken Garden at Houghton House, by the fireplace in the Scandling Campus Center, or at one’s place of worship.
The idea for the hashtag began as a research project for the writing and rhetoric course, Writer’s Seminar taught by Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric Sean Conrey. The assignment required the students to take a future project idea from a community member, and using tools that they learned throughout the semester, compile a detailed business proposal. For their project, Allison Koch ’17, Hunter Rosenthall ’17 and Ryan Densen ’17 met with HWS Chaplain Lesley Adams HON ’12.
Adams asked the students to brainstorm a possible way for HWS students to share spiritual and motivational photographs through a social media platform that would also spread awareness about religious life on campus. The trio researched local and country-wide marketing and social media strategies, and came to the conclusion that create a unique hashtag on Instagram would be the most efficient way to connect the community through motivational photos.
Each week, Adams will choose a winning photo, using #HWSRefresh, to be featured in This Week in Photos. Adams hopes to expand this responsibility to include various student-run religious groups on campus, such as the Newman Club and Hillel.
“The Religious Life Office is here for everybody, as a reflective comforting place,” says Adams. “It seems to me that in times of joy and times of stress images can be very uplifting. We all have those places we go in our heads, right? Our peaceful places. I just think it would be great to share those pictures with one another as a way to enhance community.”