Ball State’s Secret Admirers’ Facebook page not only sparked curiosity on Ball State’s campus, it also sparked love.
Evan Brown did not hesitate to click the webpage’s “submit” button after typing a paragraph that confessed his true feelings for a girl who was sitting across the room.
The freshman psychology major was in his PHIL 100 class, listening to the sound of his professor’s voice, which was sounding more and more like Charlie Brown’s teacher. That’s when he made eye contact with a girl across the room.
“She was really pretty and just all around good looking,” Brown says. I knew I wanted to talk to her, but didn’t really plan on it because I couldn’t just go up and approach her. I think this was my way of taking initiative.”
Brown saw the Ball State Secret Admirers’ Facebook page as an opportunity to get his true feelings out and hoped the girl across the room would see the post.
Her name was Rachel Buck and she was a freshman, zoology major with black and purple hair and red lipstick to match.
“Honestly, in the class he posted the note, I was probably looking at the Facebook page,” Buck says. “When I first of heard of it, I thought it was really interesting and I quickly became addicted to it.”
Buck continued to check the page, hoping to see her name in the address line. When she finally did, she was flattered by the sweet statement and excited about what it could lead to. So she wrote her admirer back, inviting him to message her so they could meet.
Buck and Brown are just two of the many students who have already connected through the Ball State Secret Admirers’ page, which was anonymously created by two students on March 27, 2013. After seeing Indiana University’s secret admirers’ page, the students decided their own school needed one. The first day, the students were disappointed by the turnout. The next day, “the admins,” as they are referred to, were amazed by the amount of submissions they received. Overnight, the page had exploded.
“At first we thought it would just be a fun thing, and it would provide some entertainment,” the admins say. “But now, we try to brighten people’s days and show just how much love exists on campus.”
The anonymous students used to post everything that was submitted to the Google document, which is how the admirations are collected. However, since the page exploded to 6,115 “likes” within a week of its creation, the admins now censor what is published.
“Originally, we posted everything we received, but we got some complaints about harassment, and we were threatened with expulsion if we did not take the page down,” the admins say.
Ultimately, the page was taken down for about four hours and fans began to complain through social media.
“We saw on Twitter and Facebook that people were upset it got taken down, so we decided to change a few things and bring it back,” the admins say. “[Now] we try to post the same general type of [uplifting] thing, and sometimes, funny ones as well. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s all been worth it!”
Anyone interested in expressing love towards Ball State or its students can submit his or her love notes to be published on the site. There is a link to the Google document near the top of the Facebook page where students can type their feelings, then hit submit. It is up to the admirer to decide exactly how anonymous he or she chooses to be, and how anonymous they choose to keep their admired. Because it goes into a Google document, the admins say even they don’t know who posts the notes.
“We created the Google form using Google Drive, and once you create a form you can see the responses on a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet only shows a timestamp and the submission, so we only know when something was sent in, and not who sent it in,” the admins say.
While Buck and Brown admit they are excited to meet, Brown says he will see where it goes after their first date. It could lead to one of the first relationships made possible by the page.
The admins admit they had no intention of starting relationships or dates out of the site, but they’re grateful.
“We really had no expectations for it at all, we weren’t thinking it would turn into something this big. So we are just so grateful every time we get a new submission or like, it truly is amazing to us!”