The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

Moving towards a new era: Dickinson’s approach to student life on TikTok 


The usual buzz of student takeovers on Dickinson College’s Instagram story has noticeably decreased this academic year. These takeovers, which typically offer prospective students a firsthand glimpse into campus life have become less frequent, prompting speculation about shifts in virtual campus outreach strategies. 

Students have speculated this decline may stem from waning student interest, while others think that insufficient awareness among students about this opportunity could be a contributing factor. Marketing and Communications staff have clarified that neither of these are the case; rather, they have redirected the focus of Dickinson’s social media towards other avenues. 

Rachel Echevarria, Dickinson’s Social Media and Digital Advertising Manager said, “Although we have not gotten rid of the Snapchat and Instagram story takeovers, we have encouraged students to produce more content for TikTok, which has grown in popularity in recent years.” Echevarria went on to say that “We still welcome student takeovers (mainly for events),” and students who are interested in promoting the college through social media can contact Echevarria at [email protected] to join the ambassador program.

The reasoning for the shift from Instagram takeover stories was primarily driven by a desire for a more authentic portrayal of the day-to-day student experience. 

Mia Eriksson ’25, said “Instagram stories never felt representative of students’ lives, leading to a sense of disconnect. Students would post on their busiest days, with a style and structure that made the stories unnatural. To be honest, I never really watched them.”

In contrast, the social media ambassador program has emerged as a space where students can showcase their real selves, unfiltered and unscripted.

As Echevarria said, “Social media ambassadors are unpaid students who are active users of social media. They engage frequently with Dickinson’s accounts, produce content, share ideas and take over the college’s Instagram & TikTok accounts during the academic year.”

The program is open to most students, but ambassadors must be “in good standing with academics and conduct.” And not all students in the program produce the same kind of content. Echevarria said, “a student’s engagement as an ambassador will be focused on areas in which they feel most comfortable participating.”

By highlighting the ambassador program, the college hopes to showcase the essence of the college experience through student-made content. 

Recent TikTok videos such as “seeing Carlisle Cinematically,” “posing with the First Week of Classes board” and “asking Dickinson College students what they are listening to” are examples that have gained traction for their raw portrayal of college life.

As social media continues to evolve, Dickinson’s online presence has changed to keep up with it. In this case, the appeal of the social media ambassadors program lies not only in its credibility but also in its ability to foster a sense of community.

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