The Instagram page WVU Voices hopes to do more than just highlight interesting students.
It also wants to promote diversity and inclusivity. The page, which has been up and running for four months, was created by Jana El-Khatib, a senior psychology student from Hurricane, West Virginia, and Aishwarya Vijay, a senior biomedical engineering student from Morgantown.
El-Khatib and Vijay are close friends who met at a science camp eight years ago. El-Khatib said WVU brought them together.
Vijay said the two had always been interested in the diversity of WVU’s campus and really wanted to showcase that on social media.
“A lot of times at the University you see the same faces showcased, and we really wanted to get people of different backgrounds,” Vijay said.
She continued by saying that oftentimes people can be judged by their appearance rather than their background and story.
“We wanted to take that judgement away before a person even sees a face and kind of bring the idea that with everyone’s different story you can realize that there is more to a person than just the exterior,” she said.
The WVU Voices was inspired by the project “Humans of New York,” which, like WVU Voices, features a picture of someone along with a little backstory about them.
“The goal of Voices is to target different people,” El-Khatib said.
The page has grown from only being managed by El-Khatib and Vijay to a team of about 10 people. The two hope that the page will continue on even after they have graduated and moved away from Morgantown.
If a student wants to be featured they can direct message the page, or talk to Vijay or El-Khatib. The duo said they find people to post about on the page through social media or different organizations at WVU. The first post came from the international festival, and people were very receptive to the idea of a social media account that showcased a variety of students.
WVU Voices recently started a Facebook page to continue to promote its vision of inclusivity. The team also
wants to start introducing some giveaways to the page.
Vijay and El-Khatib are proud to have their Instrgaram page reach more than 1,000 followers.
“We’re going above and beyond,” El-Khatib said.
She hopes the future holds more than they can even imagine for the page.
To see the diversity showcased on their page, visit WVU Voices on Instagram and Facebook.