Editorial: Web site impacts campus negatively

Almost every student at Rider has grown up with technology, knowing how to type a Word document, how to search on the Internet and how to use a keyboard and mouse. The Internet is a tool that is immensely helpful in staying connected and in touch with news, relatives and friends. Information from half a world away is available at the click of a button.

However, all this speedy technology often forms a problem for adolescents growing up. Two decades ago, fights took place on the playground and any malice was voiced upfront. But today’s youths have their fights electronically, on Web sites like Myspace or through AIM. Nasty comments and cruel rumors are spread from the safety of a person’s home, without having to venture into the real world.

For this generation, electronic trash-talking has evolved as we grew older, spreading from AIM to Myspace to Facebook. Now, since we have been in college, a new blog space for negative comments has arisen — JuicyCampus.com. This Web site is a blog spot for anyone to anonymously post rumors, gossip or nonsense for everyone to see. According to a poll conducted by The Rider News (see results on opposite page) there are a lot of students on this campus who have never even heard of this site, but administrators feel that this growing problem is dangerous to students’ well-being.

Although it is hard to take anonymous comments seriously, it is even harder to read through dozens of posts about students who are being verbally abused, many times without even knowing they’re on the site in the first place. Anyone who posts on the Web site is beyond cowardly. The fact is, everyone on this campus is legally an adult — there are times when students need to act their age and handle situations and difficulties in a reasonable manner. Posting trash about a student, sorority, fraternity or teacher is a wimpy way to go through life. In the real world, you will not be able to hide behind an anonymous screen and say whatever you want about whomever you want.

On top of posting on JuicyCampus being a craven response to situations, a lot of what is said on the site could be considered libel. Creating rumors and egging on fights is ridiculous, childish and, worse, more than that, hurtful to the people who are mentioned, sometimes by both first and last name.

This Web site is a detestable product of bored juveniles. Since Rider’s administration can’t and shouldn’t do anything to stop students from posting, students should take it upon themselves to give up the nasty habit of checking up on the gossip of the school. Do something constructive with your time and don’t encourage a trashy Web site run by attention-seeking, tiresome students.

Written By Opinion Editor, Nadine Tester

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