Teresa Doop, a senior psychology major, didn’t know she’d received a compliment until someone told her to check her Facebook.
Someone had posted on WSU Compliments, a Facebook group designed to spread anonymous cheer to members of the WSU and Pullman communities.
“To my two favorite Cougs - Jovan Adams and Teresa Doop,” the compliment read, “I am so proud of you both. I love you and miss you! GO COUGS!”
“It made me feel really good that someone took the time out to post a compliment for me,” Doop said. “It was a really cool surprise.”
The group, run by two junior communication majors who asked to remain anonymous due to the nature of the Facebook page, started in November. The students wanted to start a group for the WSU campus after they heard about a similar page launched at Queen's University in Canada.
“We just want to help increase the positivity on campus, even if it is in small ways,” the page creators said over a Facebook message. “The goal is more important than any sort of recognition.”
The two students said the hardest part about starting a group like this is getting the word out.
“At first it was hard,” they said, “especially since we are anonymous, so we didn't really have anyone to tell who could like it. It started to spread via WSU groups on Facebook, and I think people just started telling their friends.”
Erin Carroll, Wellbeing coordinator, said a group like WSU Compliments is great for students to get involved in, as it provides an outlet to show gratitude and thanks for what people do for others.
“We don't compliment people as often as we should,” she said. “If people feel comfortable doing it anonymously, what a great space to just get a whole bunch of positive feedback about how great Cougars are.”
Carroll said having a Facebook group that serves to give compliments goes alongside with the transition from face to face conversations to those done electronically.
“All of our communications change,” Carroll said. “To me, it's following what we've always done.”
Doop said she could see this becoming very popular with the right advertising.
“This is definitely something that I would like to learn more about,” she said. “I have not posted a compliment, but I would use it. Right now I think it needs more exposure and some way of notifying people that they've received a compliment.”
The creators said if the group has caught on by the time they graduate, they would leave the responsibility to someone they trust. For now, however, they are happy to see people using their site to give recognition to the people that deserve it.
“We just want to add positive light to our campus in any way we can,” they said. “At this point we get extremely excited when they send messages, because it's taken a while to get any interest.”