University students can use GroupMe for reasons beyond asking for help on homework or texting friends. There is a GroupMe residing on campus for dog-lovers, too.
The “LSU DogSpotting GroupMe” currently has almost 2,000 members. Fellow dog-lovers must follow a few rules — post only dogs seen in real life, respect service dogs/working animals and don’t be a jerk and ruin a good thing.
Michael Calvin Bond, a human resource management junior, did not originally start the group, but he and Mary Creech, an international studies and political science junior, have been in charge of it for the last two years.
The original admin, theatre junior Anthony Doyle, got the idea for the GroupMe while visiting friends in Auburn. Their friend showed them a GroupMe similar to the current LSU dog-spotting GroupMe, where people shared pictures of dogs.
Creech was in the library with the Doyle and the owner when he asked her and her friends to be in charge of it, even though they didn’t want to be.
“It was just a thing amongst our friends for a day or two, then other people started spreading [the GroupMe], ” Creech said.
The GroupMe currently has about 300 more members than the Auburn GroupMe, but Alabama has a similar GroupMe with 22,000 members.
Anyone in the GroupMe can add people. Depending on the day, the number of pictures sent to the GroupMe varies. Tuesdays and Thursdays tend to be the busier days for students, whereas on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, they have more time to contribute to the GroupMe, said Bond.
“Fridays are usually the busiest because people don’t want to go to classes, so they usually grab their dog and go on walks,” Bond said.
Creech said during break people tend to send pictures of their family dogs saying that they missed them.
“We started by just adding people that we knew, then [people] started adding everyone they knew,” Creech said. “Now there’s just people adding people left and right just whenever they can.”
Creech and the other admins used to heavily enforce that only dogs should be sent into the GroupMe, because when the GroupMe started people sent inappropriate pictures.
“They were not dogs, they were not funny, they were really gross and inappropriate too,” Creech said. “This also happened to the Auburn one that they had to create a whole new GroupMe because of the problems that they were having.”
The rule is meant to prevent the inappropriate pictures from happening again.
“The only time we ever tell people to stop doing it when [people] say things like, ‘Hey I want to sell my ticket,’ which is kind of what is happening a lot right now,” Creech said. “We don’t really kick people out as much anymore because it’s not as bad.”
Bond said he and the other admins understand when you accidentally send in things not dog-related in the GroupMe. He would either like the message or reply back that it is all right since he doesn’t care if that occurs.
“There’s some people who say things like, ‘Oh who’s selling a Bama ticket’ without saying, ‘Oh wrong GroupMe,’ and their intent was to find someone selling a Bama ticket. I would kick them immediately,” Bond said.
The GroupMe is all dog-related content, so members can send in pictures of dogs and information on service events for dogs.
When the GroupMe first started, there were about 50 dogs a day because people were very excited. Since then, it has “mellowed out,” according to Creech.
Bond and Creech hope the GroupMe will continue to grow and that they can eventually find someone to be the new owner for the GroupMe once they both graduate. They are looking for members who are active in the GroupMe, post consistently and follow the rules but are not a “stickler for the rules.”
“I hope people can just keep respecting all of the rules and keep enjoying all of the dogs,” Creech said.