Everyone has a story.
But it seems at Boston College, we tend to not tell ours in full. The typical introduction goes as follows: Name, Year, Major, Hometown, Fun Fact. From this brief overview, we have one more name and face to add to our Eagle Rolodex. We think we know our friends, but do we really? Are we too busy to connect with them on a deeper level, or is it taboo?
Ricky Scheiber-Camoretti, A&S 2015, has founded a Facebook page called “Faces of Faith, Humanity, & Spirituality at Boston College" with the hope of eradicating this taboo. With the mission, "putting words to faces by way of camera," the page aims to showcase the daily thoughts of BC students, staff, and faculty, and to show readers that everyone else endures similar troubles as them.
Over the summer, Scheiber-Camoretti worked at Hillside Café, where he connected with his colleagues on a deeper level.
“I learned about all their stories, like for example Oscar, who told me about his days traveling through countries in Europe,” said Scheiber-Camoretti. “It wasn’t fair I knew about these stories. I wanted to share them. I started wondering if the conversations I was having were blank, or as in-depth as the ones I experienced over the summer.”
Fast forward to first semester of 2013, when Scheiber-Camoretti took the initiative to do something about the issue: “I created a secret group on Facebook with the same name as the page and I started the process there. I started asking people questions, but I didn’t make it public. I showed [a friend] the page, and she told me to make the page public ASAP.”
But why the face and why the sudden awkwardness of the having people posed mid-sentence? “I wanted to put their words to their face. I think people should be held accountable for what they say and I wanted to capture them in their own element, with no doctoring of photography,” said Scheiber-Camoretti.
What makes the page unique is its reflections on simple, but challenging questions. According to Scheiber-Camoretti, the first response from participants is usually, “that’s a tough question.” But the beauty lies in the genuine answers.
“The purpose of the questions is to get beneath the skin and get away from the typical BC questions of name, major, etc.” said Scheiber-Camoretti. “I know you won’t be able to know everyone and their life story, but through their answers, there is engagement and reception that people now know the participants on a deep level, not a superficial one.”
Since the page was created, it has gained 593 likes, and 36 facial photographs of students and faculty of BC. The page has not even been up for a full week and has already gained much recognition within the community.
“I have had a bunch of people just message me with their own stories and it is amazing to hear what some have to say,” says Scheiber-Camoretti, who hopes the page will continue to grow as it has this past week. “We are never done growing. I found I grew a lot over the summer in having conversations I never have in the school year and I want to normalize that. I want to un-taboo the basic questions we ask people we meet. I want people to express themselves.”
What Scheiber-Camoretti envisions is a BC community that asks these difficult questions to encourage invigorating conversation. “I’ve done so much service and I noticed in a close-knit group that people will unveil themselves and open up to the group, but when we come back to BC, it isn’t continued. Life isn’t a retreat, it’s a daily experience."
The interview would not be complete without The Gavel conducting their own interview with Ricky Scheiber-Camoretti, as follows:
What gets you up in the morning? “I think what gets me up in the morning is realizing how much stuff is around me and how many people love me and how much I love them and how real it is. It’s coming to the realization that I deserve these things gets me up early to wake up my roommate and the people that motivate, inspire, and challenge me to get up everyday and I think that rings true for a lot of people. I realize I can’t take everything for granted because I have four years here and that’s it so that’s what gets me up."
What’s your view on The Gavel? "It's progressive-- obviously. Based on the people I know on staff, I can see that everyone on The Gavel is super-driven at what they do and is all about it, which is so cool."
Featured image via Facebook.