Online, students react for, against loud crowd

Trevor Palia, sophomore, wanted to remember the unusual scenario that took place on Sunday evening, in which a crowd of students marched around the Geneseo campus and village during a temporary loss of power until University Police dispersed them.

Like many college students today, Palia created a Facebook group to accomplish this.

Groups on the well-known social networking site generally represent real-world affiliations, interests or inside jokes. This inside joke, however, spread across the entire campus. Membership in the online group Palia created, entitled "Follow the treee," has risen to 414 students as of press time.

The casual online environment that is afforded by Web sites like Facebook allows for open student-to-student discussion. On the Web site for the group, members have shared videos, photos, and their experiences as part of Sunday's crowd.

"We all bonded over this and the Facebook group made it a place where we could talk about what happened," said Sara Pacer, a sophomore and member of the group.

Students opposed to the crowd were able to voice their opinion and connect with other students of similar feelings through the creation of additional groups.

"Many people I've talked to have found that [Sunday] night's event was weird," said sophomore Annie Smith in an e-mail. Smith had created the group entitled, "Please do not 'follow the treee.'" On the Web site for the group, several students expressed opposition to the crowd.

"I am on an athletic team here and I like to get my sleep, as do many people at 2 in the morning," said Smith.

According to Palia, the popularity of the "Follow the treee" group has prompted the original members of the crowd to begin a T-shirt design contest commemorating the event, which will be facilitated through the Facebook group.

Despite the enthusiastic response of students on the group's Web site, Palia doesn't think the Internet played a significant role in student's interest in Sunday's events.

"People would have been talking about it anyway," he said.