On the Instagram account LUC Crushes, Loyola students can send in their campus love confessions to be posted online anonymously.
With the Instagram account LUC Crushes, everyday is like Valentine’s Day for Loyola student secret admirers.
LUC Crushes (@luccrushes) markets itself as an “anonymous and safe space for you to shoot your shot or just make someone’s day,” according to the account’s bio.
Through a Google Form linked to the account, students can spill their love for fellow classmates or other individuals located near the Lake Shore and Water Tower campuses. Student names and Instagram usernames are encouraged to be included in submissions so the account owner can tag the student being admired in the comment section. Both platonic and romantic confessions are welcomed — however, guidelines exist for submissions to be posted publicly.
If anyone is uncomfortable by a post, LUC Crushes — remaining anonymous to continue running her account unnamed — said she will remove it from her account and all students need to do is direct message her for a post to be removed. All posts are required to be respectful of the individual being spoken about.
Regardless of this rule, the account owner said she still receives submissions that can be viewed as disrespectful towards other students.
“If it makes me feel icky, then I don’t post it,” she said.
Having a positive impact on the Loyola community is what LUC Crushes account owner said she strived for when creating the page.
“I’m kind of a hopeless romantic,” she said to The Phoenix. “I like seeing people get together, and it would be cool if it were through me.”
The sophomore account operator said she wanted to hold space for students to share thoughtful compliments about one another. The owner said her negative experiences on anonymous forum apps such as YikYak are the main reason for her account submission guidelines. By enforcing submission regulations, the account holder said she hopes to limit any sexualization of other students that may occur.
First-year Drew Eickel was mentioned on the account on Feb. 25 in a post stating another student’s admiration for his mustache, followed by a red heart emoji.
“My first reaction was that my girlfriend would not like it,” Eickel said.
The philosophy major said he hasn’t interacted with the Instagram account and doesn’t plan to. However, he believes anonymous platforms can be beneficial for students scared of face-to-face communication.
“A lot of people don’t want to give compliments, even though it’s all positive stuff,” Eickel, 18, said. “This is a way to spread positivity without having to place yourself in an awkward situation.”
Sophomore Isabella Guadamuz said she feels comfortable regularly interacting with the account due to its content filtration.
Guadamuz said she has been both posted about and submitted confessions to LUC Crushes. The criminal justice major said she perceives it as a positive platform for students and tries to submit something every day about someone she sees around campus. She said she actively comments on posts to show support for other students.
“I interact with the account so frequently that people come up to me and ask if I run it,” Guadamuz said.
First-year Daniel Finerty holds a similar view.
Finerty was posted twice on LUC Crushes but didn’t know he had secret admirers around campus until the account requested to follow him on Instagram. The sports management major said he hadn’t interacted with other anonymous Instagram pages but enjoyed keeping up with campus YikYaks last semester.
On March 13, Finerty was acknowledged on LUC Crushes for having a “really cool personality.” The student who submitted the confession also described him as “endearing.”
“I had a girlfriend, so I wasn’t very interested in it,” Finerty said. “I’m pretty confident in myself and who I am, so it didn’t affect me too much.”
However, Finerty said he thinks anonymous online platforms can give students a confidence boost for being noticed. Guadamuz agrees with Finerty on the benefits of anonymous online platforms.
“At the end of the day, as long as these accounts are done tastefully, they do a lot more good than harm,” Guadamuz said.
Featured illustration by Hanna Houser | The Phoenix