Social media is playing a much larger role in today’s society, opening doors that were previously unreachable to the average Joe. For example, this clown (almost) took Kate Upton to prom. A date with a back-to-back Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover girl is a pretty lofty goal. So is gaining acceptance to UCLA, the most applied-to public university in the United States. High school senior Bernie Zak turned to social media, starting an #AcceptBernieUCLA Twitter campaign, in a bid to receive admission to UCLA.
“I visited L.A. in 2010 and fell in love with UCLA,” said Zak, who currently attends Brookline High School near Boston, Mass. “More recently, I took a tour of UCLA and the weather wasn’t even nice. It was the day of the USC-UCLA football game … and it reaffirmed how much I loved the school.”
After being waitlisted, Zak immediately accepted his spot on the list. While talking to his sister about his current position, he decided he didn’t want to sit around waiting – he wanted to differentiate himself from the rest of the waitlisted pool. They ultimately came up with the idea of his “#AcceptBernieUCLA” campaign, starting 50 days before the final decision day on June 1. He would provide a reason a day for why he deserves acceptance to the university.
“It’s a brain trust among myself and a few friends. It’s very difficult coming up with 50 witty reasons why I should be admitted.” Note: he’s counting down from #50.
— Bernie Zak (@berniezak) April 13, 2013
— Bernie Zak (@berniezak) April 22, 2013
As a proud UCLA student, I had to conduct an admissions process of my own to decide whether Zak deserved an admissions spot.
Describing himself in 140 characters or less (because this is Mojo and we do things in technological fashion), Zak said, “Hard-working, loyal, organized and dedicated to sports.”
Coming from a school with sports teams but not a great fanbase, Zak decided to organize “BHS Superfans” at the end of his sophomore year. BHS Superfans is a group that enhances the sports experience for students at his high school.
“We do a ‘Game of the Week’ where we try to have themes and have all of our fans go … for example, a whiteout. At our last playoff basketball game we organized three student buses.”
He said he’s excited to become a Bruin and join the already established fanbase.
— Bernie Zak (@berniezak) April 10, 2013
“I’m a realist, I like to consider myself pretty level-headed. I don’t expect (admissions) to let me in because of this,” Zak said. “But I hope they’ll see it and it will help my chances. It’s a great school, I would really love to come here.”