Jokes about the water main break that displaced about 2,000 students living on South Campus were abundant Sunday night, but some people didn’t think they were all funny.
The Ohio State Student Wellness Center is based in the RPAC, where between 150 and 200 evacuated students spent the night Sunday. Tweets from the center’s Twitter account @OSUwellness, documented the event with some advice to students.
“Words of advice for RPAC sleepover attendees – 1) Wash your hands. 2) Wrap it. 3) Call us for HIV testing. 614-292-4527,” one tweet said.
Monday evening, the tweet had been retweeted nearly 200 times.
To clarify the tweet, 23 minutes later the account posted “And for the record – that popular tweet is simply a response to the trends we are seeing on Twitter! Be safe everyone!”
The account’s next tweet, “Just because she sleeps next to you at the RPAC DOES NOT mean she wants the D. #consentfirst #besafe,” came nine minutes later and was also retweeted nearly 200 times by Monday evening.
The Wellness Center’s tweets have received feedback, both good and bad, from people who thought they were funny and by some who said the tweets went too far.
Taylor Stepp, Undergraduate Student Government president, called the tweets “not appropriate” and “ridiculous.”
“They were walking a fine line,” Stepp said.
However, Stepp said he is confident the message wasn’t meant to offend anyone, and that the person behind the messages was just trying to promote the center’s sexual health testing.
The account undoubtedly gained attention.
Monday morning, the account tweeted “Shoutout to all our new followers! Clearly the 448 coolest kids on campus. Can we get to 500 today?”
The account had 494 followers at about 11 p.m. Monday.
Katye Miller, program coordinator at the Student Wellness Center deferred requests for comment to Dave Isaacs, communications and media relations manager of Student Life.
“The tweets were in response to social media messages coming from students who were in (the) RPAC, and intended to be similar in tone and spirit,” Isaacs said in an email. “We have received a number of responses, and most have been positive. However, any negative feedback is a good foundation for reviewing our social media efforts in the future.”
Tweets directed at the Student Wellness Center Twitter account from a Lantern reporter requesting comment on the subject were deferred as well.