Kristi Slocum ‘15
One of the best-kept secrets on Merrimack’s campus was finally revealed last month. Students and faculty have been tuning to the ‘Merrimack Humans’ Facebook page to read interesting and inspiring stories about featured students on campus. The person behind this genius idea has been a mystery since it first started in late January. Senior Chloe Rothman admitted to being the creator of Merrimack Humans on her page recently, and students could not stop talking about it.
“I’m at school with the basketball team over winter break so you have a lot of time alone in your room. I started reading the Humans of New York page and thought, ‘this is so cool; why not do it here?’ I started writing down like 50 questions that I could use, answered them myself and knew this was going to be really cool to find out about other people and what they would have to say,” stated Rothman on why she created the Facebook page.
Rothman has always loved writing, and finds it as one of her favorite past times. She saw this as a perfect way to channel her passion of writing into a way to hear other people’s stories on campus. Rothman could not wait for this to launch, and knew right away it was going to be hard to keep this a secret.
“I was so excited, I couldn’t tell anyone and so I was just like bouncing around in my room because I couldn’t wait to get this started,” she stated.
Rothman’s idea of creating this page has allowed readers to find out more about student’s dreams, ideas, or struggles they have overcome. Students and faculty have been looking forward to what she would post next ever since the page became public. Rothman shares that when this first started, she began with friends and people she could trust to keep this page a secret to feature.
Kelly Vaillancourt was one of the first Merrimack Humans to be interviewed for the page, and shared with readers about her goals and aspirations after graduation: “I think Merrimack Humans is an amazing Facebook page. There are so many people at school that we know of but know nothing about, and it’s an awesome way to get to know those who get featured on a deeper level.”
Rothman stated that the majority of the humans she picks are random, which typically make for the best stories. “When I start talking to them it’s a 15 minute interview and the best part is the end, the last 5 minutes is gold because they get more comfortable the more they are talking to me, it takes time but is worth it.”
Merrimack Humans has grown into such a success, and people still continue to admire and comment on the page to this day. Rothman did not expect the amount of attention this page has received, and it has really been a memorable experience for her. After interviewing the students, Rothman admits to getting emotional while reading the stories, and feels more connected with the students on campus.
“I start tearing up for other people’s comments, like Bri Byam’s brother commented on how proud he is of her. This made me think of my brother, and when my brother commented on my post saying ‘I’m so proud of you’ I started crying on the spot and I don’t cry often! This has made such an impact on other people and also me as well. If I am reading this and feeling this way then I know other people must be too,” Rothman stated.
Rothman revealed her identity because not only were people beginning to catch on, but she wanted it to be easier for students to reach out to her if they knew someone that should be featured. From having to lie about working on a ‘lab report’ to her roommate to cover her identity, to having interviews in hidden places on campus, revealing her identity has been much easier for Rothman to continue the page. She has received positive feedback since, and now that people know it is her, there has been dozens of messages requesting people to feature.
As for the future of Merrimack Humans, Rothman hopes to pass it down to someone who is willing to accept the challenge and responsibility that goes along with it.
“If someone wants to do it, I will be happy to give it to them. I get so engrossed in these stories, and even though it is time consuming, it is incredibly worth it. To put it in short, it is so worth it and people should continue it, but just know it is going to take some time out of your day. It should be continued and I have been told it has brought people together here, it’s been life changing,” Rothman expressed.