Friday, March 5, 2021
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Connecting Through Isolation: Middle Earth Housing Starts Humans of Middle Earth

Middle Earth Housing has started their Instagram series Humans of Middle Earth, which highlights their residents and staff. 

“The idea came up during training when I was trying to brainstorm ways to produce social media content that would increase interaction between residents. As a Middle Earth resident last year, I was able to meet so many great people and I wanted to recreate this in some way for the residents this year!” Sarah Phung, student coordinator of Middle Earth Housing said. 

The series follows the format of Humans of New York (HONY), a popular photoblog that started in 2010. Social media posts such as those made by HONY motivated Phung to create a similar experience. 

“My inspiration also came from the posts people would share on the class Facebook page when looking for a roommate or friends,” Phung said. 

Their first post was on Oct. 17.

“We wanted to spotlight a few RAs and student staff at first because residents can be shy and hesitant to put themselves out there,” Phung said. “Each post includes the name and a picture of the individual and anything they would like to share about their interests, major or what they’re excited about!”

Phung said that this project was important because it provides a way for residents to connect with each other even though they can’t do so in-person. 

“I hope they can still form those valuable relationships by going outside of their comfort zone and reaching out to other residents through social media,” Phung said. “Especially since we want residents to stay safe while still having fun, we’re putting an emphasis on connecting through social media or other virtual means.” 

Even when the pandemic ends and residents are able to interact as they usually do, Phung hopes to continue this project so that residents can continue to connect with each other in different ways.

Ashley Shah is a Campus News Intern for the Fall 2020 Quarter. She can be reached at