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Parody Twitter accounts

Have you ever wondered what percentage of King’s students are currently napping in a library? Did you ever want to read about news on campus typed out with poor grammar and in ALL CAPS? Or are you just looking for ways to procrastinate on your next essay?

Have you ever wondered what percentage of King’s students are currently napping in a library? Did you ever want to read about news on campus typed out with poor grammar and in ALL CAPS? Or are you just looking for ways to procrastinate on your next essay?
Thanks to some Twitter accounts cropping up around King’s, it’s easy for King’s students to get their humor fix – even easier than getting their caffeine fix at the Galley.

This year, @StatsUKC has been gaining a lot of momentum with King’s students both new and old. This satirical account, started in November by Julianne Steeves, tweets fake statistics that poke fun at the students’ habits.
“King’s has such a weirdly distinct culture sometimes … it comes from where there’s a pretty small campus, and we spend a lot of time studying and pondering what dead guys said,” she says.

In one of her first tweets on November 18, she wrote: “92% of King’s students who say ‘Fight me’ would lose a physical fight but win a poetry slam,” jokingly playing up the un-athletic and bookish stereotype.
Steeves also uses the account to comment on current events and issues on campus. On November 28, in response to the KSU letter-writing campaign for Laura Penny, Sarah Clift and Jannette Vusich, Steeves posted: “100% of King’s students should go to the Wardroom today and write eloquent, enraged letters about King’s consideration to cut 3 great profs.”
In January, she tweeted: “Stats King’s is 89% better at numbers than the people who handle King’s finances,” in response to the school’s financial problems. However, she says these are all made in good fun and aren’t intended to hurt the school’s reputation.
“I’m trying to keep it lighthearted,” she says. “It should be reserved for things to laugh at … I want to occasionally get behind causes, but I’m not setting out to make anything serious.”

Evan McIntyre, who runs @KINGSNEWSHFX, says he made the account on an impulse while he was going through nicotine withdrawals. The account pokes fun at King’s and its students, and like @StatsUKC is intended to be light.
“I think it’s okay for people to make fun of stuff, so long as it isn’t hate speech. There’s a lot of issues I don’t pay attention to until I can understand it as a joke,” he says. “But I don’t often make jokes about serious stuff at King’s, especially since I’m a Junior Residence Don and they’re my employer.”
Since it began in February 2013, the account has garnered around 400 followers, which McIntyre says “isn’t a big deal in the whole scheme of things.” However, he says that a few journalists – such as Zeina Jreige from CTV and David McKie from the CBC – have begun following it, which he appreciates.
He also sometimes uses the account to post about current events that are happening around King’s and Halifax. On March 28, he posted a picture of the snowy campus captioned with “SPRING! #EASTCOASTLIFESTYLE” in response to the abysmal weather Haligonians have been experiencing this year. He also uses the account to promote happenings on campus such as Wardroom parties, KSU events and general news.

“I’ve used it to spread the word on a few things. It’s pretty good at informing alumni, mostly people who graduated within the last 4 years.”
These accounts, along with a few others, have been a hit with many of the students. Laura Jones, a fourth-year student, follows some of them on Twitter and enjoys their sense of humor.
“I like the fact that the humour seems to be mostly directed at laughing at our school itself as an institution and not at people,” she says. “I think with King’s in particular, it is so easy to take ourselves too seriously … I think the parody accounts give a healthy insight into that culture and poke fun at allowing us to take a step back and observe the things we say.”

By David J. Shuman

David is a second-year journalism student at King's, is engagement/news editor of The Watch, and a copy editor of The Pigeon. He writes on student politics, campus happenings, and school news. 

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