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The Road to Viral

Popular UTRGV Snapchat account founded by student committed to campus life

by J. Edward Moreno

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – UTRGV’s large and still growing Snapchat footprint all began when kinesiology major Cristopher Din felt there was something missing in campus life. It was summer 2015, right before UTRGV opened its doors, and Din was finding it difficult to find out about events or social gatherings.

“The main reason I moved into the dorms was to experience the college life,” he said. “I wanted there to be a way for people to know when events were going on, or if they wanted to meet up to play soccer.”

So Din, a Palmview native, decided to start a Snapchat account so students could have a way to connect. Originally, it was going to be called Vaquero TV, but after realizing the username “utrgv” was available, they seized the opportunity, and became the founders of what eventually would become the official UTRGV Snapchat account.

UTRGV kinesiology major Christopher Din founded the university’s increasingly popular Snapchat account in summer 2015, right before UTRGV opened its doors and he was finding it difficult to find information about events and social gatherings. Today, he helps maintain the account – where posts commonly get about 10,000 views – with UTRGV’s Social Media team. Photo: Paul Chouy/UTRGV

Having an account bearing the university name comes with a lot of responsibility, and Din knew that, so he made sure there were guidelines to follow. The account has never posted any illegal activities, parties, or “anything that could jeopardize the school’s reputation,” he said.

Eventually, the UTRGV Social Media team reached out to Din, and now they run the account together.

On UTRGV Snapchat – which now has almost 36,000 followers – you’ll see student organizations set up around the Edinburg and Brownsville campuses fishing for customers to fundraise for their activities. They advertise on the account because they know people will see it. Each post get roughly 10,000 views, Din said.

“I do this for them,” he said. “Whenever I have time, I try to update the Snapchat story because I know there are organizations that fundraise money for a good cause. At the end of the day, I may not be in that organization, but I helped them out in that way. That makes me happy.”

Even Din himself has been subject to Snapchat trends, with photos of himself often finding their way onto the account. And he has a Snapchat logo tattoo on his arm that says “Thoughts become Things,” making him immediately distinguishable as the “Snapchat guy.”

“There’s a lot of things that go into making the account; it’s not that easy,” he said. “To me, this tattoo is really meaningful, it has a story behind it. It reminds me that if you set your mind to something, you can do it.”

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