This past week, I had the pleasure of interviewing the face behind the St. Olaf Blizzard Press, a satire Instagram account created in February 2020 that has since taken the St. Olaf community by storm. Although The Blizzard’s creator originally based the account off of satire news source “The Onion,” the Blizzard delivers fresh headlines specific to St. Olaf students and their experiences — which makes the page all the more refreshing and relevant.
When asked about the page’s sudden popularity, the creator expressed how surreal the process has been — from the first headlines, to following fans of the St. Olaf Dog Spotting page (the original target audience) and watching the page grow from there.
While much of the Blizzard’s content is produced by the creator alone, they also rely on a healthy dose of suggestions from friends and peers. When asked about the page’s many direct messages, the creator showed nothing but appreciation.
“I receive a lot of DMs,” the creator said. “It can be a lot to sift through, sometimes. But I always encourage new headline ideas; I always want the page to be really open and fun, with multiple perspectives.”
Although the Instagram account was ultimately created with the aim of making people laugh, the creator has since been tasked with figuring out how to navigate running a satire page in light of a pandemic, and more recently the anti-racist protests both on campus and beyond.
“During the summer, I made the deliberate choice to not post much at all. While I want to make the page a platform for anti-racist work during the school year, last summer I felt it was more responsible to not misuse Instagram and take that time instead to observe and educate myself.”
After they graduate, the creator hopes to preserve The Blizzard by passing ownership down either to another student or perhaps even a student organization. While a change in leadership might change the type of content that is produced, the creator is untroubled by this fact. At the end of the day, the creator is firm in their belief that The Blizzard must remain a space where students can share their thoughts, anecdotes and opinions, regardless of their class year.