For St. Thomas students planning to travel to the Saturday, Sept. 15 Tommie-Johnnie football game in Collegeville, Minn., social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have helped make the trip more efficient.
Students like senior Daniel Burdick used social media to set up party buses for transportation to and from the game.
Social media websites like Facebook and Twitter are playing a major role on how students prepare for the Tommie-Johnnie game. With the help of these sites, students have organized party buses and designed apparel for the big day. (Tarkor Zehn/ TommieMedia)
Burdick began organizing a party bus for his group of friends through Facebook in August. He said he started planning well in advance because the game fell early in the season.
“We started about a month ago. It kind of caught us by surprise, so I placed a reservation down for a party bus. And then I starting inviting people, and friends’ friends started, and now (the Facebook group) is full,” he said.
Burdick said the group of 45 was full two hours after it was posted.
Shawn Vierzba, director of Life Safety at St. John’s, advised students to put social media to good use and look online at the campus policies when planning to come to the game. Vierzba noted that party buses will not be able to stay on the St. John’s campus.
“The only buses that will be allowed onto the campus are university sanctioned buses,” said Vierzba.
Social media also helped students sell Tommie-Johnnie apparel. Senior Eyo Ekpo said he has never seen so much involvement in making T-shirts for the game.
“I think there’s more shirts being made, more of a variety and different groups of people making shirts this year than any year, at least since I’ve been here,” Ekpo said.
Ekpo, who designed and sold a Tommie-Johnnie T-shirt of his own, said creating an event page on Facebook was an easy way to spread the word.
“I think eveyone’s on Facebook…events are a really good way to invite friends to groups. Give or take 300 people joined our group and once they joined, they could invite their friends, too,” Ekpo said.
Without the use of Facebook, Ekpo assumed he may have seen a significantly smaller market for his shirts.
“I’m guessing it would have been a lower number,” Ekpo said. “It would have been a lot more work on our part too because we would have had to go around to a lot of people.”
Sophomore Amanda Llyod said online event and group pages highly influenced her knowledge of the different Tommie-Johnnie shirts.
“It made it a lot easier to find all the different designs and choose one,” Llyod said. “Facebook is the only reason I knew about the shirts.”
Junior Paige Allen said using Facebook as a medium to find the shirts was convenient, even if it did flood her notification feed.
“I got invited to a bunch on Facebook, which helped me to see all the options, and was also good for a few good laughs,” Allen said. “The people who ran all the different pages were really on top of keeping everyone informed and giving updates, which was really nice.”
Although the rivalry might get intense, the St. Thomas Facebook page advised students to be respectful as they head to St. John’s.
“Tommie-Johnnie weekend is almost here! Heading up to Collegeville for the big game? Keep sportsmanship in mind!”
Tarkor Zehn can be reached at email@example.com.