According to Azusa Pacific student-athletes, the new student-run page could make APU culture look a little different.

This school year, it seems that on Azusa Pacific University’s campus, social media sites like APU Confessions and the Fizz app have been all the rage. Now, there is a new student-run page in town— Barstool APU which is run anonymously on Instagram.

However, unlike some of the other controversial anonymous platforms, there seems to be a collective belief that Barstool APU has infused a sense of pride and unity into the student body since its debut on Dec. 13, 2023. APU athletes say the page could increase school spirit, game attendance and even athletic performances. 

The anonymous admin of Barstool APU spoke about how through humor, they hope their page can bring at least some change to APU’s student life. “I’ve seen photos from when our student section (The Zu) used to pack the Felix Event Center for the basketball games. I hope we could have that energy again, it would feel more like a college environment. The student life at APU seems to be declining more and more every year and I’m hoping we can change that,” Barstool APU said. 

Members of APU’s baseball team—freshmen Jacob Hayes, Steven Lukasiewicz, Justice Brinson and redshirt sophomore Josh Chavez— have all heard from upperclassmen that at APU games, crowd attendance tends to be unimpressive. They believe that Barstool APU could revamp the student section, a small change that they think could make a significant difference. 

“I think our athletes will perform better when there’s more people backing them in their corner. So there definitely needs to be more involvement, maybe more people showing up to games could help us,” Lukasiewicz said. 

Hailey Hilton, a junior on APU’s soccer team, agreed with Lukasiewicz. She reminisced on playing soccer in high school when it felt like the whole school came out to games. With this support, there was a heightened sense of purpose to every win. 

Without the crowds, Hilton says APU doesn’t have that same home-field advantage, but she feels students won’t come out to games if they don’t know anyone on the team or care about the sport.  Hilton added that Barstool APU could help by making APU’s sports games seem fun and by uniting the student body around APU’s sports culture.      

This was Barstool APU’s exact intention. The page admin commented, “Recently it feels like the other non-affiliated APU accounts just tear people down and stir things up….I wanted my page to be nothing like that. I’m just trying to make people laugh and promote the sports here.” 

Largely because of that, Barstool APU has been well received. Hayes said the whole school’s backing it. His teammates feel that the page’s support is at least a reassurance that students do care and want to support APU sports. 

“They (Barstool APU)  lowkey show a lot of love, except for the red shirt post,” Brinson joked referring to Barstool APU’s meme, “Never ask a woman her age, a man his salary, or a baseball player why he redshirted.” For Barstool APU, that’s as controversial as they intend to get and Brinson assured that his teammates still had a good laugh about the meme. 

The baseball teammates all unanimously agreed they wouldn’t change a thing about Barstool APU’s content. However, one athlete would like some change in Barstool APU’s lineup. Maddox Bradley, a freshman on APU’s track and field team, acknowledged that Barstool APU encourages school spirit, but that they could do more and post a tad more consistently.  

“They could do collaborations with athletes or if you want some actual school spirit, you could create tension with other schools, positive tension, but tension,” Bradley said. He further suggested Barstool APU could make more posts jokingly calling other teams names to help strengthen the spirit of school rivalry.   

At the end of the day, Bradley admitted that Barstool APU can only do so much. Barstool APU agreed, saying that while better marketing is important, it’s up to the students to show up to games and events. 

Beyond that, Barstool APU simply enjoys seeing the APU community gather around the posts. Someday he or she may reveal themselves, but until then, Barstool APU says their DMs are open in case anyone is interested in starting “The Zu” back up. Barstool APU says these are all just small steps into restoring APU’s sports culture to its fullest.