Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Student Know Thy Limits ...

The Ithacan (Online)
College forms committee to examine use of Facebook
By Erin McKigney Staff Writer February 15th, 2007

Twelve faculty members, two administrators and three student representatives were appointed to the [Ithaca]] Facebook Task Force, which met officially for the first time Tuesday. Doreen Hettich-Atkins, coordinator for special services and programs for Student Affairs and Campus Life, will chair the committee with Mike Taves, executive director of Information Technology Services.

Brian McAree, vice president of Student Affairs and Campus Life, said the growing popularity of social networking Web sites like Facebook inevitably affect students’ lives and colleges need to learn how to react.

[Use of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are a] ... phenomen[a] all over the country and obviously as students use it, more questions naturally get raised for colleges and universities as to how they should be responding.”

Hettich-Atkins said the task force is looking to make decisions on how and if the college should educate students on safely using networking sites. It will also examine ways the college can use Facebook to get information to students and create a protocol in determining whether to examine Facebook for safety and security reasons.


At Tuesday’s meeting, the group discussed whether Public Safety should regularly go on Facebook or MySpace to look for violations of the student conduct code or the law. McAree said the task force is looking to develop protocols for how Public Safety should respond.


Students are already voicing their concerns about being held accountable for illegal activities found on these sites, according to senior Bevin Kennedy, vice president of campus affairs for the Student Government Association.


Another goal of the meeting was developing educational materials for students to make them aware of the potential impact of representing themselves online, McAree said.

Cornell University’s information and technology Web site offers information on social Web sites in a page titled “Thoughts on Facebook.” The site lists potential consequences of posting too much information on the Internet ... .[snip]

Hettich-Atkins said she hopes the college can catch up with students using networking sites. “Students are so far ahead of us on the use of these sites,” she said. “We want to be clear and consistent across campus in how we are going to utilize or not utilize these sites in what we do.”

Facebook Committee Members


Related Editorial

The Ithacan (Online)
EDITORIAL February 22, 2007
Knowing the limits

The college’s Facebook committee needs more student input to decide how the college should use the site for campus safety purposes.

One year after The Ithacan reported Public Safety’s use of Facebook to find violations of the student conduct code, the college [Cornell University] has created a committee to determine what boundaries should be set for the college’s use of the networking site. [snip]

The committee’s formation is part of a larger conversation being held by colleges across the country regarding the role sites like Facebook and MySpace should play in criminal investigations. [snip] However the college decides to use Facebook, it needs to be very careful before it gets involved in social networking Web sites, specifically when choosing how to use these sites to collect evidence against students.

[snip] If the committee does decide the college will begin relying heavily on Facebook for public safety purposes, it should also work to remind students that total privacy is not an option with these sites, and that the Internet must be enjoyed responsibly. At the very least, the committee should invite more than three student voices — voices of those who have grown up using these sites on a daily basis — to participate in this conversation.


1 comment:

Cosmic Ray said...

Just a correction to the identification of the college involved. ... "The Ithacan" is the newspaper for Ithaca College (www.ithaca.edu); the student newspaper at Cornell University (www.cornell.edu) is "The Cornell Daily Sun."