Facebooking Professors, they’re people too

The rapid technological advancement in the last 10 to 15 years has produced a myriad of new issues, mostly involving media “piracy.” One such controversial (but mostly unnoticed) aspect of the new era of the internet involves the dominant social networking site Facebook, and more importantly the boundaries of students and professors on the site, which was covered in a recent Spartan article.

We decided to explore students’ opinions on being Facebook friends with their professors.

There are some students that don’t even see the “issue” of being friends with professors on Facebook as an issue at all. Sophomore Zack Racenet said “if teachers want to have actual interpersonal relationships with their students, power to them.”

He goes on to say that the only real issue with professors on Facebook is when they try to use the site for educational purposes. “That’s an unnecessary waste of technology,” Racenet said.

But some disagree. Paolo Audino, a freshman at Castleton, doesn’t think he would accept a friend request from a professor.

“I don’t want them to judge me based on my profile or comments. I’d rather be judged in and out of the classroom based on what they see about me in person,” he said.

Some teachers even have ill-feelings about friending their students.

“It could be deemed inappropriate having teachers know everything you put on facebook,” said professor Emma Lamson.

Facebook is a social networking site. Everything posted on anyone’s page is on the Internet, which means anyone has access to it, unless a profile has ramped-up security on it (which most currently don’t). If there’s something inappropriate on a student’s page, why would it be any worse for a teacher to see it than another friend or parent?

Professors are people. Why should their position as an educator take away the right to have a Facebook and “friend” students if they want to? The college community is comprised almost entirely of adults, and we should act that way. We can all make our own choices to accept friend requests and monitor what we post on our profiles or not. It’s as simple as that.

-Nik Minarik

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