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Instagram accounts like @jmu_dogs and @jmustarbot document different aspects of JMU life.

Over the past year, student-run accounts based on different aspects of the JMU community have been popping up on students’ feeds. Whether it’s dogs, bots or quotes, these Instagram accounts—which are not affiliated with JMU—have garnered a following among JMU students and faculty. Here are the top 10 JMU student-run accounts that are being talked about around campus. 

@jmuarboretumducks 

The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum has been a hot spot for students to enjoy the beauty JMU has to offer, with different types of flowers and animals inhabiting the green space. One of the highlights of visiting the arboretum are the ducks, who’ve gained a following thanks to the JMU Arboretum Ducks account on Instagram. 

The account captures the ducks’ daily lives, including adorable photos and videos of the beloved waterfowl. On its Instagram stories, there are images of the ducks with popular music in the background, along with polls that let the user interact with the account. Stated in the account’s bio is, “We hope this account brings you love & positive energy.” With over 1,000 followers, it’s safe to say the ducks have had a positive impact on JMU students.

@jmu_dogs

If there’s one thing JMU students are known for, it’s their love of dogs. After all, the university’s mascot is the famous “Duke Dog.” While walking on campus, it’s hard not to spot a lovable pooch wagging its tail while being walked by its owners. The @jmu_dogs account gives a spotlight to the many four-legged friends around the JMU community. 

JMU students can send photos of their dogs to the account, and the account will post the picture along with a rating of how cute the pup is. One shouldn’t worry though — most dogs are given a rating higher than 10, with all of them exceeding the cuteness level. One might even spot other furry friends being posted on the account, such as cats and rats.    

@onlyatjmu

Named “JMU’s unofficial meme page,” the @onlyatjmu account posts photos and videos of JMU students, faculty and funny mishaps. Whether it’s a student falling into Newman Lake or a Zoom class flub, this account lets students laugh at each other’s antics. 

With over 7,000 followers, @onlyatjmu follows in the footsteps of well-known meme accounts such as @barstooljmu or @blacksheepjmu but posts more than just embarrassing photos and videos. Students can send in their own content to the account, whether it be a picture of them and their friends, a JMU- or college-themed TikTok or a meme they altered to focus on what goes on at JMU. Even faculty members comment on the posts, such as the vice president for student affairs, Dr. Tim Miller.

@jmu_food

Ranked #8 in 2021 best college food, JMU’s dining services don’t disappoint. Buffalo mash, peanut butter pie and the make-your-own pizza are just a few examples of the tasty food the campus has to offer. Some students may not know what’s what when going to a dining hall and may feel overwhelmed with choices. 

This account helps people determine what’s hot and what’s not on the dining services’ menu. With weekly rankings, this account shares photos of delicious food that’s being served in the dining halls. One’s stomach may be growling after viewing the account and all of its food content. 

@jmu_quote_of_the_day

For students who hear something notable during their day and want to share it, this account gives them that opportunity. Students can submit quotes they’ve heard from themselves, their friends or in passing that they feel needs to be seen by others. 

Although most of the quotes are meant to be laughed at, some talk about real-life events such as climate change. The account also posts a “Quote of the Day” on their Instagram stories, letting followers guess a quote from a movie, TV show or song. 

@jmustarbot

On campus, the Starship dining bots are favorites to encounter when walking around. It’s hard to miss them, and they provide students with a necessity: food. This account follows the bots on their daily deliveries and the many adventures they face. 

Students can submit photos of the bots when they run into them, and the account shares these posts with cute captions. Sometimes, the account shows the obstacles the bots face during their deliveries such as broken wheels, almost getting run over by cars and even crashing into each other. Although they’re inanimate objects, many students love them as if they were pets.  

@jmubirdsarentreal

Over recent years, the theory that birds aren’t real has dominated social media. This JMU account feeds into the theory by making it into a meme page, where content is shared to support the idea that “birds aren’t real.”

The account’s bio reads, “Birds are drones created by the government to have eyes and ears everywhere,” which jokingly supports the idea that birds are robots spying on everyone, including JMU students. One may even spot a flyer on campus stating that birds aren’t real and to follow the account. 

@jmuscoots

Before there were starbots, there were scooters. Popping up around campus for a couple of years, these scooters have made an impact on campus by allowing students to ride around JMU, even though they’ve come under fire for students crashing them. This account captures the many misadventures of the “scoots” at JMU. 

Students can submit photos when they spot the scooters and place them in funny positions and places to share. There are even a few pictures showing the scooters interacting with the starbots. 

@jmu_vegetation 

With all of the natural beauty surrounding the JMU campus, it makes sense to capture it with photographs and share them with people. This account allows students to see the abundance of trees, plants and vegetation that make a home out of the campus. 

Students can submit their pictures of vegetation they think are interesting. It’s a great way to explore the campus and see the foliage that JMU has to offer. 

@jmu_skies 

When visiting JMU, it’s hard to miss the beautiful views that the campus has to offer. Whether one’s on east campus or the Quad, the views of the sky are breathtaking. This account captures the beauty that Harrisonburg skies display every day. 

If a student sees a beautiful view of the sky, they can submit their pictures to the account. Many of the pictures show the vivid colors and dark mountains that JMU is known for and allow current Dukes and anyone else who can’t experience the skies for themselves to see the photos. 

As more and more JMU-based Instagram accounts pop up and are followed by thousands, it’s safe to say that this trend is not slowing down. One may even get an idea to start their own account based on the successes of these 10.

Contact Kylee Toland at tolandkm@dukes.jmu.edu. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter and Instagram @Breeze_Culture.