In the last 10 months, Dan Reneau has skinny-dipped in the natatorium, “holla’ed” at his Greeks on Thirsty Thursday and hosted a BYOL (Bring Your Own Lady) slip-n-slide party at his house, according to Twitter.
Or at least his fake counterpart, FakeDanReneau, has.
Anonymous Tech-related Twitter accounts started popping up in January 2012, but a recent surge of new ones have taken over timelines. Kevin Richardson, a freshman business management major, said anonymous accounts change with time.
“My favorite was FakeDanReneau, but he is no longer with us,” he said. “I unfollowed him because now we have the FakeLesGuice, so I moved on to the new president. You’ve got to stay with the times.”
FakeDanReneau did not agree that his reign is over.
“People want to be like Fake Dan,” FakeDanReneau said. “The craziest part of it all is that students have formed this type of protection toward me. I’m the king, and they are my knights.”
The Tech Twitter phenomenon started with LaTechProbs, who now has more than 1,300 followers.
“It started as a joke,” LaTechProbs said. “A bunch of my friends in Baton Rouge were retweeting LSUProbs, and I searched LaTechProbs without finding anything. I figured I might as well start one. We need some national recognition.”
With over 900 followers, FakeDanReneau said the students are the reason he loves what he does.
“It came at a time when I realized that Tech students are incredibly opinionated about the different things that happen at the university,” he said. “The thought of being able to connect with every student by making them laugh about these different subjects, no matter who they are, was so appealing to me.”
Richardson said the interaction FakeDanReneau and LaTechProbs have with the students makes the accounts even funnier.
“Most of the tweets are problems I deal with at school,” he said. “I relate to them. I favorite.”
LaTechProbs said he loves the favorites and retweets, along with other student input.
“I try to retweet as many people as I find whose comments are humorous,” he said. “I didn’t want it to be a just me account. I wanted everyone to be able to put in their two cents.”
The student feedback has been unbelievable, FakeDanReneau said.
“From the first day Fake Dan was created, people were immediately hooked,” he said. “Retweets are fun to get, as well as favorites. But that moment when someone tweets at you with a concern or just to drop by and say hey to their favorite dude, that’s what makes it all worthwhile.”
While LaTechProbs and FakeDanReneau have attracted attention for quite some time, new accounts like LaTechCats, LaTechSquirrels and LaTechTrees have students buzzing.
“It’s getting dumb,” Richardson said. “They’re getting ridiculous. LaTechCats needs to stop. I already hate cats, so it’s making it worse.”
LaTechProbs and FakeDanReneau said they appreciate some of the new accounts, but they still believe they are supreme.
“I think there are a few humorous ones,” LaTechProbs said. “I can’t blame anyone for wanting to be as famous as we are, but some people don’t have what it takes to make it in this business. LaTechTrees, LaTechCats, FakeMattNelson, FakeTommySpangler and FakeLeslie will never be the caliber FakeDanReneau is.”
FakeDanReneau said he finds the attempts flattering but he has something the other accounts just cannot touch.
“It does help that everyone knows who Dan Reneau is, so that gives a huge upper hand to this game,” he said. “I mean, who are James Ferguson, Chris Berry and Lori Birdwell? Fantastic motives, I’ll give them that, but they just do not have the Fake Dan swag.”
FakeDanReneau specifically called out FakeMattNelson, saying he is a “huge douche,” but maintaining that he cannot keep his eyes off of his tweets.
But when will it all end?
LaTechProbs said he plans to pass the account on when he graduates, but FakeDanReneau hinted at plans for a reveal.
“Will I shout it from the top of Wyly?” he said. “Will I tweet a picture of myself? … I want to connect with the students in a way that professional administration cannot. I believe that revealing the face of Fake Dan will diminish that connection in certain ways. But don’t fret, we will meet soon enough.
Email your comments to ace...@latech.edu.