Place item was collected
Zachary Grant Bess
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
My name is Zachary Grant Bess, I’m a student with a Dual Major in English Teaching and History Teaching. I’m in the military, as well as a student, and currently serve in the USUSA as the Senator for CHaSS here at USU. I was raised in Southern Utah. I am a frequent user of social media and have had twitter for 7 years or more, besides Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram etc. (as well as the defunct, Myspace, Bebo, Hi5, Google+, etc.) I follow internet culture as a participant quite often. I understand the business news, culture, and tech news around these social media platforms. I have been an Aggie since 2011.
The hashtag #aggiestrife first and foremost was a pun off of #aggielife, the predominant hashtag used at Utah State University. Unlike, #aggielife that was used to denote things students are proud of, #aggiestrife became a call to complaints about USU, or being a student at USU (or a college student generally.) While there is an unofficial account “@aggiestrife” that account followed the hashtag usage and is not the reason people choose to use the tag. That account tends to retweet many of the #aggiestrife posts, but that seems to be the afterthought of its usage. When I arrived at Utah State, or soon after, the hashtag was in usage. At the time most students only used #aggielife to denote USU-related posts, this, in opposition to “#usuaggielife” which the University PR department prefers. Because there are other universities that have and “Aggie” as their mascot, USU likes to include their acronym both as a specifier, as well as protection against association from other schools. While a quick search of #aggielife would show you that a vast majority of posts are from the Logan area or USU related, some do relate to Texas A&M, New Mexico State or other Aggie-schools. However, most of those schools have unique hashtags their students use, A&M tends to use “#aggieland” which I’ve never seen in use related to Utah State. Because of these hashtag variants, #aggiestrife, the play off of USU’s mostly unique hashtag seem to be wholly USU related material.
[the account “@aggiestrife” mocking the fact that BYU Student, and Rapper, “James the Rapper” hates Aggies]
[Parody account “@noellecockett, a profile who pretends to be USU President Noelle Cockett, mocks the parking situation]
[I mocked a professor’s grading process, back in April]
[School Newspaper, The Utah Statesman, uses it for a serious issue]
Mostly used as self-referential, self-deprecating humor, it is often used for blowing small issues into big ones. It is similar to the “#firstworldproblems” in that way. Many of the tweets are complaints about things like bus routes, dining services on campus, or the vast amount of snow the campus receives. Occasionally the tweet is used more jestfully, as a major complaint against the University is asked of academic issues, student services, or Title IX issues. Like most hashtags, it can be used seriously, or sarcastically, and thus can take on many textures by its users, usually obvious.
Lynne S. McNeil
Semester and year
Bess, Zachary Grant, "#aggiestrife" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 90.