You many have seen #UAAmazing as a caption to a photo of a white pickup monstrosity, complete with vanity plates and an Alyeska Hotel decal on the tailgate parked, almost miraculously, in three parking spots in the West lot on campus. Maybe the ironic hashtag was at the end of a tweet complaining about the costs of tuition, posted by a recent South High graduate, who’s wearing Uggs and True Religions in her profile picture. You’ve definitely seen it on a Facebook post regarding the Wi-Fi on campus, which seems to run at a glacial pace. The point being, #UAAmazing has been taken over by students as an ironic way to point out their grievances with the university.
In 2013, the University of Alaska Anchorage launched the campaign “Amazing Stories Being Written Every Day.” The campaign, which highlights notable student stories, was launched alongside UAA’s social hub, The Howl. The Howl’s website uses four created hashtags to highlight the UAA brand and content from around campus. One of these hashtags The Howl uses is #UAAmazing.
“We wanted to use a hashtag that reflected the brand and also embodied what we know to be true—our faculty, staff, students and alumni are doing amazing things,” Kristin DeSmith, Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Relations, said. “#UAAmazing is used by both the university and our community to share examples of those things on social media.”
The hashtag is used on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and promoted during special campus events such as Kick-Off, Commencement, Gala and Winterfest.
In addition to promoting the university, the hashtag is commonly used by students ironically when posting complaints or irritants on campus.
Occasionally the university will respond to students complaints in an attempt to relieve a specific issue, but more often than not it is a way for students to vent about campus life. So, what began as a hashtag to promote UAA student success, the hashtag is now synonymous with irked students speaking freely about university annoyances.