by Emily Witsberger
Near the beginning of the fall semester, sociology major Ricky Scheiber-Camoretti, A&S ’15, began a project combining several of his interests – his yearn to reflect on reality, his love for long conversations with friends, and his fascination with questioning what others consider to be social norms. Over the course of his first two years at Boston College, he had come to realize that everyone has a story to share, and that many students on campus have similar experiences and struggles whether or not they express themselves. Borrowing the camera of his friend Deryn Thomas, Scheiber-Camoretti began going around campus taking pictures of students while asking them questions about their lives at BC – questions of faith, spirituality, and humanity.
Scheiber-Camoretti wished to share with others what he saw many students going through at the same time. With the encouragement of several of his friends, in October he created a Facebook page using material he had been gathering over the past month from a number of informal student interviews. After so much work had gone into the his project, he was understandably nervous as to whether or not anyone would respond to what he had created. However, he was surprised by a strong positive response to the Facebook page from both his friends and other members of the BC community. Within an hour of its launch, the “Faces” page had already taken off.
As it stands now, “Faces of Faith, Spirituality & Humanity at Boston College” is a Facebook page that, as its description states, puts words to faces by way of camera. Pictures of various students on campus are accompanied by each student’s response to a thought-provoking question, including everything from “What gets you up in the morning?” to “When do you feel the most ‘you’?” The idea behind each question is to get students to think about things they rarely get to vocalize.
The page’s success speaks to the way in which the questions and answers show how much we can learn from each other, and how much we have yet to learn about ourselves. Freshmen at BC who are unsure of where they stand in their faith journey may be surprised to find out that all of their peers are actually in the same boat. Even upperclassmen who are deeply imbedded in their own faith journeys are nowhere near having everything figured out for themselves. With the goal of encouraging active thought in its readers, the “Faces” page promotes self-expression in a way not often seen on campus.
The Facebook page has continued to grow since its launch in the fall, and has gained a good number of supporters along the way. What began as a small side project by Scheiber-Camoretti is now sustained with the combined efforts of Paola Cisneros, Katey Chartier, Adisa Duke, Nick Genovese, Britt Gordon, Kimmi April, and Deryn Thomas. According to those working behind the scenes, the “Faces” page has to do with being vulnerable and expressing oneself without fear of being judged.
“Especially at BC, we all have the problem of putting up a façade of success and happiness,” said Cisneros. “[Scheiber-Camoretti] wanted to change that, so that’s what inspires me to continue his project.”