Friday, March 06, 2009

Ah, Facebook ...

Ah, Facebook



So I have a facebook account, mostly so students can find me thre and don't look for me here. I don't put personal stuff up there, and am very careful even about my status, after a couple of students came by my office to check on me when I said I was depressed. But I have lots of colleagues and family, so they see a part of me. And occasionally one of my friends posts something a little unprofessional, but that's ok, too. I never look for my students, and only add them as friends at their request. I don't go to their Facebook pages and snoop. But ...

They sometimes forget that friending me means I can see stuff they do. So one of my advisees popped up in a photoalbum named after a local bar. And I clicked. And saw several students (a couple of my advisees) who are definitely underage getting blasted. Do I mention this to them? To anyone else? Or just put in a call to the alcohol board that they might want to do a check one of these nights? Or forget I saw it because there's a bar like that in every college town?

11 comments:

TheCrankyProfessor said...

You remind yourself that you are a professor and leave the enforcement to people who stand in loco parentis. And that's a great reason to drop FaceBook.

A couple of years ago someone sent me a link to some site like "Drunken Campuses" and I searched for us. I was appalled. And I didn't bookmark it.

Another Damned Medievalist said...

A good point. But ... will have to think about it.

Seamyst said...

Heh... the campus pub at my undergrad (yes, we had one on-campus) got BUSTED my junior year when the ABC came and found the owner/operator freely selling drinks to uncarded underaged students. He resigned, the pub was closed all fall, several of the students were charged with underage drinking... it was a mess.

My answer: I don't know.

Anastasia said...

I wouldn't. I don't think it's your business, even if it is on facebook.

Steve Muhlberger said...

You would forever be damned as a spy.

Thank heaven that the drinking age is 19 in Ontario.

Steve Muhlberger said...

On the other hand, you might call the bar and tell them that someone's underage children drinking at their establishment is all over the Internet.

Whether it's better for the students drink in a bar or drink privately is hard to say. In Canada there very few "Greek" organizations so we dodged that bullet too.

johng said...

Silly students. When I was at school (drinking at uni not being a problem in the UK) everyone knew which pubs the boys drankin and which ones the staff used. That way there was no posibility of embarrassing meetings.

Another Damned Medievalist said...

Yeah -- I think maybe the 'call the restaurant' thing is best. I talked to some colleagues about it last night, and one pointed out that the drinking age is lame (which I agree with). And another that, these days, the alcohol board often brings in the police to arrest the students. Do not want that! Because honestly, I don't care much (unless they are possibly harming themselves). I just hate being in the position of knowing their doing something stupid and not being able to say anything.

Susan said...

You might also privately tell your advisees that this is a problem and why: not as an enforcement thing, but as an information thing. You could even say, "I'd rather not know this". And also the problems for hte bar's license etc.

Narya said...

I'll join in on the "call the bar" chorus. They really should be carding their patrons, and they probably know it--but it's entirely possible that the owner or manager doesn't know that the night shift isn't being as responsible on this as they should be.

the brightest buzzing desire said...

In my place as a former instructor/current graduate student, I see a lot of things I'd rather not see on Facebook. Including hookas. I've taken a student aside to talk to him about how to configure privacy settings, but that was only when I found out that his late paper was due to a night of drinking rather than a stomach flu. The campus police at my old institution regularly look through Facebook photos for offenders of various laws.

I'm deciding now whether or not to block my current campus from Facebook when I begin teaching again next year. Hm.