Anonymous Site Renews Focus on Student Rights
February 24, 2011 Leave a comment
by Jake Hawkins
Editor’s Note: The staff of The Rambler has chosen to withhold the name of the website described in this article, for reasons involving issues of privacy and promotion.
Juicy Campus, an anonymous gossip website which was banned from Transylvania University’s campus in 2008, may have a descendant.
The website, which The Rambler has decided not to name, allows users to post anything to a forum devoted specifically to their campus. Users can post anonymously, but they can identify themselves if they so choose.
While other universities, such as the University of Kentucky, have rather active forums with daily posts, the last post to the Transy forum was made in January.
“Not everything I say should be on my f—ing résumé,” said the website’s mission statement. “Football players can talk about ‘Glee.’ Economics majors can be socialists.”
Because Juicy Campus was blocked from Transy’s Internet access, the fate of this website has been brought under question.
“We will not block this new site just because it exists. We will not have it blocked on campus until there is a grievance, and I haven’t heard any complaints yet,” said Vice President and Dean of Students Mike Vetter.
Vetter referenced several instances in the student handbook that justify the banning of Juicy Campus. “Verbal harassment or abuse of another member of the university community” constitutes a level-one violation of the standards of conduct.
According to the student handbook, level-one violations are processed by the dean of students, his designee or the student hearing board, and sanctions can include reprimands, required attendance at educational programs, warnings, restitution, work assignment, a fine up to $250 or 30-90 days of disciplinary probation.
“The Juicy Campus incident from two years ago began when students filed a grievance with the content of the site,” Vetter said. “They felt that their rights had been violated. They brought me copies of the threads from Juicy Campus.”
The website appears to monitor content and has a list of 26 prohibited posts. Additionally, the website provides means for users to request posts be deleted.
“Posts that are especially derogatory and harmful towards another member of the community are prohibited,” the website said. “This board is not meant to be a place where you can bash or tease someone behind their back.”
Vetter pointed to students to prevent this new website from reaching the level of Juicy Campus
“The Transy community has been good at looking out for one another,” Vetter said. “There’s a lot of self-policing among the students, too. When students speak up about incidents like this and keep each other in check, it really sets a good standard for everybody. … Students need to be responsible for what they say.”