Facebook snooping

When Facebook was started a few years ago it was geared toward college students. However, Facebook has become a public Web site for people to browse and network with friends and family.Natalia Stroman, a senior from Atlanta, says the Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Karen Martin, has been browsing students’ profiles on the Web site.

According to Stroman, it was first mentioned this summer when Dr. Martin asked her about a male student’s inappropriate comment on one of her photos. “She thought that the conversations by all parties were inappropriate and she should send it to Judicial Affairs because it could harm someone,” Stroman said.

Martin said she couldn’t comment directly about that situation at this time, but wanted students to know that they have to be careful about what they say because they can’t make threats. “When I get a complaint we address it for the students’ safety,” she said.

However, Stroman explained to Martin that the picture was of her and that she didn’t think that the individual meant any harm. “It was a joke.”

Stroman, who now has to be a witness, said, “She sent him to Judicial Affairs, accusing him of creating a threatening atmosphere at the university.”

She says Dr. Martin questioned her about Facebook. “She also asked me to teach her how to get on Facebook, using an alias name so she could see how students are behaving, so she set herself up an account while I was in her office.”

Dr. Martin admitted that she has a profile on Facebook to see what students are doing. “I have several invitations to MySpace, and I have nieces and cousins with profiles and I check on them as well,” she said.

Nonetheless, Dr. Martin said she wants students to be viewed in a positive light at all times with conduct that is uncompromising.

Kwame Cyril, a sophomore from St. Lucia, said, ” It shouldn’t be a problem because on Facebook there are controls that allow you to block your page.”

Cyril says some companies look at Facebook and MySpace pages to get a sense of personality before they hire a person.

But David Logan, a junior from Leesville, said, “Facebook is a site for students to network with one another, not be monitored by administrators.”

Logan says he doesn’t have a Facebook account, but he knows that it’s something students do for leisure.

“If they are monitoring Web sites now, who could imagine what they will be monitoring next,” he said.

Dr. Martin said, “Employees, talent agents are all looking at sites. … It’s in cyberspace, someone can view it (your profile) and see it anywhere.