Inspired by the viral social media sensation Humans of New York, a collective of Montclair State students has created a virtual snapshot of life at the University, posting new installments on Instagram every week day using the hashtag #RHOMS.
Since Red Hawks of Montclair State launched in August of 2016, the project’s goal has been to capture a broad swath of unique stories that reflect the University’s diversity and bring the campus community together. #RHOMS shares photos of students, faculty, staff and alumni, accompanied by a missive, philosophical statement or short story about their Montclair State experience. Subjects have reflected on life while sitting in a tree or waxed poetic while doing a well-executed handstand. Their physical positons are as unique as their narratives and their voices are the mosaic of the Red Hawk community.
To gather content, the student storytellers initially roamed the campus looking for subjects but after six months of posting, people come looking for them. One storyteller shared that they’re inundated with recommendations and requests to be featured. While all Red Hawks are eligible, the site is a place for positivism, to reinforce the culture that all Red Hawks can feel at home on campus.
"We want them all to know that regardless of who you are, what you look like, where you’re from or why you’re here, you’re not alone. We are all a family."
For his post, senior public health and journalism major Wellington Gomez shared how Montclair State has become more than a home away from home for him.
"Montclair State has taught me how to live the life that I want to live and follow the dreams that I have for myself. Getting involved on campus is something that I value a lot because I have built so many relationships and connections with all different types of individuals that I will take beyond my four years."
Montclair State alumnus and CSAM program coordinator, Dann Truitt ’14 shared a reflection on the impact mentors can have on a student’s college experience.
"I was mentored by the professional staff and realized that teachers come in many forms.Montclair State is full of teachers and mentors who have made it their purpose to enhance the student-experience through student activities, research opportunities, internships and so much more. The fact that I can now pay it forward to the next generation of Red Hawks, and act as a mentor and resource to them is what makes my job exciting and fulfilling."
Even the University President, President Susan A. Cole has been featured, telling her own story on what it means to be a Red Hawk.
"Being a Red Hawk means believing in yourself, being willing to work really hard to achieve your goals, and recognizing that you are not the only bird in the nest, that you have a responsibility to use your education, not just to provide for yourself and your family, but also to contribute to the social good."
Follow Red Hawks of Montclair State on Instagram for more stories and to discover what it means to those around you to be a Red Hawk.