Kent State added to JuicyCampus rumor site

Samantha Tosado

Controversial social network causing a stir

JuicyCampus, a Web site that tolerates postings of anonymous gossip, has landed one of its many homes at Kent State.

Kent State was added to the Web site Sept. 2, along with 184 other colleges that day. As of yesterday evening, 482 colleges exist on the site and 65,219 people have posted comments.

According to the JuicyCampus Web site, the site launched in October 2007 “with the simple mission of enabling online anonymous free speech on college campuses.” The site requires no registration, login or e-mail verification for users.

Dean of students Greg Jarvie, said he thinks the Web site creates problems within the Kent State community.

“I’m sure there are issues about factual information,” he said. “If it’s your name that’s up there publicly, it’s pretty tough to swallow.”

Andrew Polansky, junior sports administration major, said he found out about JuicyCampus from a friend who goes to Ohio State.

“Someone that I went to high school with was posted on it, and it got around,” he said, “I think it’s going to get shut down because of all the negative stuff that could potentially be written, but I personally don’t see a problem with writing on it.”

On the other hand, senior English major Jeff Schneeklotch said he feels deeply offended by the Web site.

“I think anyone involved should be arrested immediately,” he said. “It makes me feel better knowing these people are put to justice.”

Jarvie said he is concerned about the mean-spirited nature the Web site posts.

“The majority of students understand right from wrong,” he said. “You’re damaging someone’s character, and it’s not appropriate.”

He said people have the potential to abuse any type of blog.

“It makes it even worse when someone can’t sign their name next to their work,” he said. “It’s such a shame.”

Pepperdine University’s student government appealed for the university to ban the site earlier this year, but the administration chose not to ban it.

Jarvie said Kent State has not banned JuicyCampus yet.

“I have to look at the legal options,” he said. “There’s going to be a number of things we need to look into to see if we can even do such a thing.”

Proponents of the site, however, argue that JuicyCampus falls under the protection of free speech.

Political Science professor Richard Stanislaw said he thinks freedom of speech is a fundamental, academic value, but he doesn’t think it should be taken for granted, and that the anonymity of the Web site is the main issue.

“I think posting anonymously is a cowardly way of engaging in discourse,” he said. “People should have the courage to come out, god damn it.”

Contact news correspondent Samantha Tosado at [email protected].