Avid Facebook users at Fort Lewis College have likely come across the FLC Confessions. Many of these pages are popping up from colleges across the country.
Lindsay Nyquist, the FLC social media coordinator and web developer, said she found out about the page the day it launched. It is her job to monitor for mentions of “Fort Lewis College” and “FLC” in the news.
“It’s not something we were looking forward to,” Nyquist said. “But we knew it was coming.”
What’s the main goal of this “confessions” page?
“I would like to know, sort of, what they’re hoping to accomplish with it,” Nyquist said. “At this point, we have no concept of who it is, but, especially with some recent posts that are pretty serious in nature, basically the person or people who have started this have taken on a big responsibility.”
Another big problem is that there are claims on the page that, if true and if people were named, could really have an effect on people’s lives, Nyquist said.
Just as with almost anything on the Internet, it is hard to prove a statement either true or false.
This page does have the potential to cause the campus an image problem, Nyquist said.
“We don’t know if this is accurate or not. We don’t really know if prospective students are looking at that or not,” she said. “It’s just kind of disappointing to us because we work so hard to do our job and for all of this other information to be going on out there is just not great.”
So what do students think of the page?
“I think it would be a better page if the admin could monitor it better,” said Ashley Schwartz, a senior at FLC.
“It was a good idea, but it has turned into a page where people b****,” said Katie Gillespie, a senior at FLC .
Is this a sign that not all students are happy with the happenings of the confessions page?
“Honestly, I would expect a little more out of our students,” Nyquist said. “Our students do amazing things. They put so much work into community service and the causes they really believe passionately about, and that’s what really defines the Fort Lewis College student.”
Social media is still a new and growing field in both education and the workplace. People can now make comments without ever giving their name or showing their face, which makes it difficult to ever find out who said what.
“We love social media because it allows us to have a two-way conversation with students in a way that we never could before,” Nyquist said, “So its helped us solve problems students have, its helped us get information to prospective students better, and what these guys are doing by being anonymous is they’re kind of cheating that system. So instead of making it more honest and more transparent, they’re hiding behind this page.”
However, there really is not anything the college can do about the page. “The only social media policy that we have is one for official social media accounts,” Nyquist said. “This page definitely does not fall into this. It has nothing to do with the college; it is student run.”