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Students connect with campus life through thriving BBS sites

Updated: 2011-04-22 08:22

By Xing Yu (China Daily)

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BEIJING - For some, the online Bulletin Board System (BBS) means more than just a way to socialize at Tsinghua University.

"If there was no Shuimu BBS, maybe I would not have found a wife," said Zhang Weiguang, a former student of the School of Medicine of Tsinghua University.

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Zhang got to know Zhuang Minjuan, a student of the School of Architecture, at a party for swimming forum users, and they married in 2008, after graduation.

The BBS was launched in 1995 as the Shuimuqinghua BBS.

In 2005 it was divided into two bulletin boards, but students read both and call them "Shuimu BBS" for short.

Niu Jie, a student of the School of Public Policy and Management, said she has been able to get useful information on Shuimu BBS during different periods of her life.

When she was searching for jobs before graduation she read the career forum and now she favors forums about investment and real estate.

"The authenticity of the information on Shuimu BBS is more reliable than the bulletin board systems that are not based on the Tsinghua campus," Niu said.

For Fan Boyang and Zhang Yinghao, a couple who enjoy reading the joke forum, Shuimu is also an important source of entertainment.

Fan, who graduated from the School of Journalism and Communication in 2010, reads the cell-phone edition of the joke forum every month since she is too busy at work to read the BBS online every day.

Fan's boyfriend Zhang, of the department of chemical engineering, uses the Shuimu BBS on his iPhone.

"I have read Shuimu BBS for several years, and reading it has become a habit," he said.

For Fan, the BBS means still more. Fan entered Tsinghua University as a master candidate in 2007 and did not feel at ease in her new life at first.

"I began to read the Shuimu BBS, and got to know more about life at Tsinghua. Then I talked to people around me and felt at ease in my campus social life."

New students, however, do not have as much interest in Shuimu BBS as his generation did, said Zhang Yinghao.

"Maybe that is because they communicate more on some other websites or micro blogs. But Shuimu is still important on our campus and means a lot for many generations of Tsinghua students," Zhang said.


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