Social Site Ban Affects 21st Century

Nationwide, universities are attempting to restrain the use of social Web sites, like Facebook and MySpace. Schools such as Kent State and Pamona have already started to take measures to ban Facebook on campus while Del Mar College, and administrators in the Brownsville, Harlingen, McAllen, La Joya, and Rio Grande City school districts in Texas have all banned MySpace on campuses.

Kent State has restricted student-athletes’ use of such sites; Pamona, on the other hand, has excluded it altogether. According to the Student Life News, Pamona’s student newspaper, the decision was made by administrators who hoped that, “…the end of Facebook would create a more focused academic atmosphere and will encourage students to seek face-to-face social interactions.”

At St. John’s, students have the freedom to surf the Web from anywhere on campus. Since the inception of the new laptop program, the school has only prohibited sites such as Kazaa and Limewire that allow students to illegally download songs and other forms of copyrighted entertainment.

The most prominent and sweeping changes of Internet reform have not hit the St. John’s community yet, and it should remain that way. If students are forever told by outside forces what they can and cannot do, how are they supposed to mature? If students cannot be trusted with a Web site, then why are they even in college? College is supposed to prepare students for the real world, because when they are older there will be no one holding their hands telling them what to do.

“If St. John’s didn’t allow us to use Facebook, I would be upset,” said senior Daniel Marcellus. “I feel that the school is already restrictive enough, and that would just cross the line a little too much.”

Kent State officials cite feelings of anxiety over students’ profiles when trying to explain why decisions were made to exclude access to the Web sites. Universities feel that profiles that mention underage drinking and drug use or contain sexually explicit content portray a negative side of their schools, a side that they would rather not have the public see. This is where they go wrong.

Most people know that if there is a good time to be had, there is usually a college student around to have it. Whether it is Kent State, Pamona, or St. John’s, there is no a perfect school, nor is there a perfect student.

No matter what the school is, there is always going to be a side of it that the administration will attempt to shield from the public view. However, most students already know that; therefore, disabling social sites is futile. Word of wild parties or other forms of student rowdiness will spread, but if Facebook is disabled, the news will just spread via another medium.