Humans of JCU: An Anonymous Interview with JCU Barstool

Managing Editor, Laken Kincaid, conducts an anonymous interview with John Carroll Barstool representative.

Laken Kincaid

Managing Editor, Laken Kincaid, conducts an anonymous interview with John Carroll Barstool representative.

Laken Kincaid, Managing Editor

As defined by their official website, Barstool Sports is “an American blog website and digital media company that produces content on sports and pop culture.” Most colleges have a Barstool social media account associated, but not affiliated, with their own school run by select members of the student body. These accounts post a variety of content from relatable memes to controversial opinions on college policies. If you have seen caf chicken critiques and DUO login digs on your personal Instagram or Twitter timeline, you’d know that John Carroll also has its own Barstool representative.

With over 8,000 followers and 3,000 posts combined, @BarstoolJCU on Instagram and Twitter has a huge pull on the John Carroll community. The account consistently engages with members of the student body either through direct messages or comments and provides posts discussing JCU affairs ranging anywhere from athletic updates to featuring JCU dogs. It is not uncommon to hear students discussing recent tweets or stories from Barstool in The Caf or between classes. Yet, one of the most intriguing facets of this Carroll mogul may be that no one knows who is the person behind the screen.

The Carroll News had the opportunity to conduct an anonymous interview with the current operator of the Barstool JCU accounts with hopes for further insight on who the incognito influencer is and how they navigate the social media landscape. 

Via Instagram direct message, Barstool JCU stated that two seniors run the account currently after receiving access in March of 2021. These students were chosen by the previous owner and then received approval from the official Barstool Sports organization to run the account. However, there is no set tenure for how long someone can run the account as long as they follow the stipulation that they remain a John Carroll student. 

Previous Barstool JCU owner and current national Barstool Sports social manager, Riley Collins ‘22,  explained the vetting process in greater detail

“When a viceroy graduates, he or she will normally give it to a friend or host an application process,” Collins told The Carroll News. “The viceroy managers at Barstool have to approve of the person and get them to sign a contract but they trust the former account holders to bring someone just as funny and dedicated in.”

Collins took over the Barstool JCU account in April 2019 at a friend’s request. He had always looked at accounts like Barstool and “jumped at the chance to be a part of it.” After receiving the account, Collins realized that there were other responsibilities outside of posting meme content.

“The real ‘requirements’ [for the account] would be to promote certain barstool events, merch sales or sportsbook promotions that the viceroy managers at barstool send to all of the students,” Collins elaborated. “You can sign the contract and never post a single thing until you get fired or run it for all seven years of college after you fail four different semesters. The only real requirement is to be a student at the school. For some people like me who took time to perfect their craft, it ends up in a job at Barstool HQ.”

For social media moguls like Barstool, this looks like closely following trends both on and off campus. One common topic for discussion is the quality of food in the Schott Dining Hall paired with admiration for the discontinued “Tween Tenders.” Other posts consist of sports promotions and merchandise offers. The current Barstool owner also stated that continuous posting is best practice for running the account, prioritizing a set upload schedule and examining potential student contributions.

“The main responsibilities are to be consistent in posting content,” Barstool JCU said. “We have a schedule that we try to follow based on the day. We try to follow a daily schedule of what to post. It is a mix of content that we make and submissions [from the community]. It really depends on what people send in. We keep up with different school accounts and social media trends to try to make good content.”

While it may seem like an afterschool hobby for some, curating content and managing the platform can have many professional benefits.

“It is on my resume,” Barstool JCU elaborated. “It can help with marketing degrees and just helps show other people that you are responsible and have experience in social media, if that is something an employer is looking for. Barstool will also write you recommendations if needed. It allows people to be a part of an organization, gain experience, meet new people and have fun.”

“For me, working at Barstool is a dream come true,” Collins said. “Some days it almost feels like I’m getting paid to hangout with my friend. My day to day responsibilities include running all of the Barstool Gametime socials, running the main Barstool Facebook page, creating graphics for the main barstool Instagram and Twitter page and editing videos for the main Barstool TikTok. Each day is different and that is one of my favorite things. Running the Barstool JCU account was 100% how I was able to get this job.”

Aside from the rectitude, operating the platform requires design skills and time management. Barstool JCU highlights that it is also imperative to be interactive with the online John Carroll community. 

“I love seeing how different people react to our posts and that the school sometimes takes in consideration what we say,” Barstool JCU said. “Hopefully, people enjoy our posts. I know not every single one of them will make everyone roll on the floor laughing, but hopefully, they can relate.”

The anonymous account also stated that one of the more difficult parts of their work is to create posts that are both engaging and relevant. However, Barstool JCU also stressed that they love to see other content submissions from students.

“It is hard to produce content sometimes [that relates to people],” Barstool JCU said. “Sometimes jokes don’t go over so well and you have to take criticism, but that is just a part of the job. We love when people send content so our DMs are open to whoever. Not everyone likes Barstool, but [it has] been great to be a part of. I hope they continue doing [Barstool] and give people the opportunity to represent their school.”

It is unknown when a new student will take over the Barstool JCU moniker. However, whoever it may be, will be in for an experience with multiple possibilities and unlimited connection with the Carroll community. 

“At the end of the day, it’s social media,” Collins ended. “It’s meant to entertain and that’s what I see from it in the future. Hopefully a fellow blue streak is working with me in NYC at the HQ in the future!”