Jesmond student uses Facebook page for worthy causes

Image Copyright Andrew Curtis. This work is a licensed under Creative Commons.

Image Copyright Andrew Curtis. This work is a licensed under Creative Commons.

An anonymous Jesmond student started the Facebook page Spotted: Newcastle Robinson Library last December and it quickly caught on with Newcastle University students.

The idea is simple: if you see anyone conspicuously dressed, acting out of the ordinary or “fit” inside the University library, send your message to the page admin and it will be shared on the page.

Spotted: Newcastle Robinson Library seems to have inspired others to start a similar Facebook page at the Northumbria University, and there is a spotted page exclusively for Jesmond too.

The Robinson Library page has been gaining quite a number of followers ever since its inception and was a source of entertainment for students revising for first-semester exams in the library.

The student behind it, who calls herself Mrs Robinson, told JesmondLocal: “I would be lying if I said the page was 100% my idea. Back in December I saw a page set up for the University of Edinburgh library and thought Newcastle needed one.

“The page is there to ultimately provide entertainment, which is apparently much needed in this period of exams.”

Sometimes acting as cupid between students and at the same time posting amusing updates about the men’s toilet on the third floor being clogged, the Spotted page certainly fulfils its brief.

After the steady stream of students trickling through the library doors receded post-exams, the page admin has been campaigning for a charity group and promoting student entrepreneurs on the page.

Martin Solomon, a third year Biomedical Sciences student, urgently needs a stem cell donor after he suffered a relapse of his blood cancer last year.

Mrs Robinson asked students to sign-up at the Anthony Nolan charity group in an effort to help Martin find a donor. Gift vouchers were given away for two students out of the many who registered.

The story about Martin Solomon was picked by the University newspaper The Courier in its first edition since the winter break.

Students supporting the #Match4Martin campaign set up a recruitment camp in Newcastle and signed up 105 potential lifesavers as donors.

Mrs Robinson has also been actively promoting student enterprises such as Maid in Jesmond, a cleaning service, Young Enterprise Heroes clothing, which sell jumpers with “The Jesmond Dream” printed on the front and many other such small-businesses run by students.

Similar Spotted pages at universities such as Bath and Loughborough were in the news for posting comments that were deemed racist and sexist.

Also Spotted pages at University of Exeter and York were closed down after students protested against them for online harassment.

“I filter through all the messages. I read every single one and those that I deem appropriate are then posted. I will and have never posted anything that is racist, overly sexist or humiliates an individual and very rarely post anything with obscene language,” said Mrs Robinson.
“The page has such a large audience, so it’s becoming increasingly difficult to please everyone and not offend anyone.
“If there is a backlash about a particular comment, then it can be removed straight away; however this has not yet happened as I’ve been very careful about the content posted.”