Web Site Too 'Juicy' for Tennessee State PDF Print E-mail
By DeShanee Miner -- Black College Wire   

The latest online sensation to hit TSU's campus is Juicy Campus. Unlike typical community Web sites, Juicy Campus has garnered negative attention from students as well as university administration.

In response to several complaints and posts published on the site, Juicy Campus is now banned on the university Internet network.

VP MIchael Freeman
Vice president of Student Affairs Michael Freeman said he returned a call at approximately 8:45 a.m. on Nov. 12 from an outraged parent of a student who was the subject of allegations on the site.

"I looked through the site and the level of conversation on the site," Freeman said. "The students have the right to get to it, but there is no right that says we must host (Juicy Campus)."

After receiving this phone call, Freeman placed a call to Denis Gendron, vice president of technology and administrative services with the request to block the site from the TSU network.
Patrick Walker-Reese
In addition, SGA President Patrick Walker-Reese made the same request on behalf of the students.

"I was personally outraged," said Walker-Reese, a senior history major from Nashville. "It wasn't so much what was said, but how fast it grew."

The site was blocked from the TSU network Nov.12 at about 12:20 p.m.

Juicy Campus operates under a forum set up where viewers can introduce topics and comment on them.

While most forum and message board sites require a registered membership before posting, Juicy Campus allows posting anonymously. The allowed anonymity is where many of the problems originated.

"Their opinions are irrelevant because people don't leave their names or faces" said Gabrielle Jackson, a senior psychology major from Mobile, Ala.

According to JuicyCampus.com the site was founded on August 1, 2007. It was later launched on October 24, 2007.
The mission of the site is stated as "enabling online anonymous free speech to college campuses."

As of Nov.12, the site reported more than 13,000 posts on 500 college campuses.

(Your View? Comment at the end of this article.)

In the "About us" section of the site, it also reads, "Today it is a forum where college students discuss the topics that interest them the most, and in a manner of speaking deem most appropriate."

Like TSU, some college campuses have deemed the site inappropriate.

During the spring of 2008, a Vanderbilt University student Chelsea Gorman was raped while walking back to campus one night.

Later, viewers of Juicy Campus read a topic titled, "Chelsea Gorman Deserved It". Even after receiving counseling, Gorman still had to face the campus not only reading her rape, but also talking about it.

On TSU's campus link, the topics features subjects such as who is gay on campus, inside information of Pan Hellenic organizations, who has STD's, HIV and AIDS, and even personal student information.

Some people have even gone so far as to post camera phone pictures of a seemingly private Facebook message for the world to see.

Since anything by any anonymous person can be added to the site, readers cannot be sure if the information is true.

"I tried to get to Juicy Campus in the Performing Arts Building," said Starr Jones, a sophomore speech communications and theater major from Cincinnati. "When I logged in it took me right to the TSU site."

JuicyCampus.com was merely a lightly visited Web site on the TSU campus on Monday, having only about two pages worth on context.

By Wednesday there were seven pages and hundreds of responses to the posts. It quickly jumped to 15 by Friday.

The CIT Department managed to block the site from the TSU network, but not the server. Total blocking of the site might be seen as too much restriction.

While Juicy Campus is apparently affecting TSU's campus, it is by no means a new occurrence.

Publications both print and digital that have been on campus include: Bleu Crush, Firestarter, Dreamweaver, and Facebook's own controversial application, the Honesty Box.

"I even went to a bunch of laptops to try it," Jones said.
While the site's function on TSU's campus is seemingly destructive, students are anxiously ready to be past the negativity.

"Remember why you are here," Walker Reese said. "You're here to grow in your personal endeavors. Take the time and energy you put on an individual on your individual growth."

DeShanee Miner writes for The Meter, the Tennessee State University student newspaper, which originally published this article.

Posted Nov. 17, 2008
< Prev   Next >