Rutgers student amuses peers with jokes, photos of self on Facebook
Sprawled across a pool table with a rose in hand, Sam Afflu has become a Rutgers meme.
The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences senior is known among Rutgers Facebook groups for posting photos of himself on what appears to be a pool table and holding a red rose, among others. Some students are amused — others are exasperated.
It all began when Afflu joined several Rutgers Facebook groups while searching of housing.
“Some girls made a post that was overtly sexual and clearly a joke, so I said something like 'did somebody say' and whatever it was. Then I was like, what pictures do I have that are funny so I just threw one in there," he said. “I didn’t think it would become anything.”
The photo came about when Afflu was handing out flowers to Rutgers students, faculty and staff, as he does every Valentine's Day. Afflu asked one of the recipients to take a photo of him lounging on a pool table.
His expectations were met and exceeded as the post quickly gained popularity. As he posted more jokes and pictures on other groups, Afflu became a phenomenon within the Rutgers community.
Afflu also hands out flowers to students, faculty and staff every Valentine’s Day.
“Instead of complaining about being single it’d be nice to spread the love a bit.” he said. “More than a dozen times I’ve gotten people to ask me to take pictures (with them) on Snapchat, some of which I’m friends with now."
The influx of friend requests on Facebook prompted Afflu to message requesters he did not personally know, to make sure they aren't spam bots.
When not posting jokes and pictures of himself on Facebook, he practices martial arts, plays piano, saxophone, basketball, quidditch and ballroom dances.
His strange habits do not stop with his Facebook posts. Afflu has also confirmed that he is the individual who goes to Neilson Dining Hall during midnight breakfast in a chipmunk mask and causes mischief.
“That’s usually during finals season when everyone is stressed out. You’re gonna get the people to scream and freak out but you're also gonna get the people who are laugh like 'wow, I really needed that,'” he said. “I like to make jokes and I like to make people laugh, so there’s that.”
But while many Rutgers students may consider themselves funny, few go to the lengths Afflu does for their jokes.
Afflu said he enjoys the attention, but does not see himself as special or different than the average Rutgers student. Anyone that's willing to try to be funny can.
“I don’t think I’m doing the world a service or anything, that's a bit obnoxious, but its fun to make people laugh. I guess I just enjoy making people happy,” Afflu said.
Despite Afflu's intentions, some members of the Rutgers community believe he is a troll.
Afflu does not completely deny the allegation, admitting that he will tease those who try to give him a hard time
“Just like being a jerk on Facebook or anything else, everyone has multiple facets to their personality, and I think that the Rutgers pages are one part of everyone’s personality," he said. "We never see everything from any given individual.”
Afflu said he hopes this motivates others to also reach out beyond themselves.
“This year I posted the pictures of when I gave out flowers, not to get attention, but to encourage people to get out there. I wanna represent any individual who wants to be in that position and do something for another person because I think any one of us could,” Afflu said.
Gabriela Amaral is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in political science. She is a contributing writer for The Daily Targum. See more on Twitter @sentientfog.