Written by Michele Butterman Thursday, 27 June 2013 00:00
The newest campus controversy surrounds “Adelphi Secrets,” a page where students can write anonymous posts related to the university. Although this page does contain some negative comments, it does more good than harm and, therefore, should remain as long as it continues to strengthen the Adelphi community, rather than bring it down.
Some students use Adelphi Secrets as a way to give a shout out to a cute girl they saw in the library or a professor who really inspired them. It also helps connect students to people they may have never had the opportunity of meeting. People realize that they aren’t alone in obstacles they may be experiencing. For example, multiple posts have touched upon the struggle of feeling isolated within the institution. Post No. 45 says, “I hate eating alone for dinner here. Everyone else seems to have at least one person to eat with and I’m alone.” Somebody replied by saying “Story of my life.” Another individual provided suggestions about how the student could become more involved on campus by joining clubs and/or Greek life. Post No. 61 states, “I want to go to Aloha Adelphi tonight, but I don’t want to go by myself. Being at the social events alone is awkward.” Someone replied, “It’s not awkward at all, just go and make friends with everyone, and then you’ll be the party.” People can spark new friendships based on common experiences.
This page is also beneficial because it allows students struggling to know that within the Adelphi community, there are numerous resources available to help them overcome their obstacles. Post No. 13 states how a student had negative intentions one day while walking to the Nassau Boulevard train station. Another student from Adelphi University unintentionally saved his life by speaking to him. Regardless of their struggles, Adelphi students can utilize the support system within the community. This post stands out as an example of how this page benefits students encountering difficulties.
On the other hand, some students use this page to wreak harm and ill will. They bash students and talk poorly about another individual. Post No. 596 states, “It’s so hard to get through the school day without saying ‘chink.’ ” This is extremely offensive to individuals of Chinese descent. Students who are posting on this page should be respectful of the diversity within the Adelphi community. This page is open to the public and posters should use discretion while making comments that could be offensive. Some students even use this site as a tool for illegal activities. For example, Post No. 537 states, “I was thinking of selling weed and was wondering if anyone was interested in buying.”
Although there are some issues with this page, it gives students the ability to anonymously speak about their problems. Jessica Klein, an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at Adelphi, who published a book titled, The Bully Society says pages like "Adelphi Secrets" can be useful to the extent that it’s vital for people to have confidential counseling. She believes that it’s important for names to be anonymous because things taken out of context are dangerous. The administrator of this page found that it’s an outlet for people to say things they normally wouldn’t.
This page should remain available to the public because it can spark new friendships and support those who are struggling. It can be extremely helpful in strengthening the Adelphi community. Although there are flaws within "Adelphi Secrets," its positive effects outweigh the issues that it raises. The fact that people could increase someone’s self-esteem by simply letting them know that they are not alone is truly wonderful.
Michele Butterman is a student at Adelphi University