Housing joins MySpace frenzy
Posted March 10, 2006

Rick Montanez
Staff Writer

MySpace.com has invaded the Internet, and of course not without controversy.

There are over 60,000 people on MySpace. This Web site offers profiles with sections on music, movies, books, event invites and many other things.

Despite the dangers of this public forum, people continue to use MySpace. They continually post pictures and stories about alcohol use, drug use and their encounters. People sometimes find themselves completely absorbed in the world of MySpace. Many ‘MySpacers’ have said it is like an addiction.

“When you go into any computer lab, you can find several people logged on to MySpace,” said Christa Costello, a junior psychology major.

Faculty and staff at schools have started to take notice. The University of La Verne housing programs have started their own MySpace account. The Housing MySpace page reads “this is the space for all Leos to find out the programming ‘goings-on’ in the campus community.”

The Housing MySpace profile has information on becoming a resident assistant or ways to get involved in programs. RAs now have a place to post information on the events and programs they are planning, as well as a place to share their ideas with other RAs and students.

The page is relatively new, so there is not a lot of information yet.
“MySpace is the place students are at,” said Kharyshi Wiginton, ULV resident life coordinator. “It’s a huge medium that adds a new dimension of interaction.”

Several students have expressed concern about potential spying. Housing has yet to punish anyone for something they have found on MySpace. Still, some students, feel it is an invasion.

“It is simply ridiculous that they are using MySpace as a way to peep in on the students on and off campus,” said Wilson Hawkins, a junior business major.

“I have heard concern that Housing may be using MySpace as a way to monitor or spy on students and their leisure activities,” said Jim Richardson, president of the Residence Hall Association. “But as long as residents follow the rules they have nothing to worry about.”

Hawkins said he heard about the page a while back and said he is not the only one concerned.

“I heard they are going on MySpace and looking at pictures to see who is drinking,” said Josie Faus, an undeclared freshman.

“They apparently wanted to get the word out on campus activities but also be able to check on any illegal action occurring in the dorms,” Hawkins said.

“Housing has only used this as a tool to inform residents of upcoming events,” Richardson said.

“It is a means to contact students, it is not meant to go into personal accounts to spy,” Wiginton said.

Housing maintains their page is only meant for positive interaction.
MySpace can be used as an effective tool for communication. But, people also seem to forget the Web site is a public forum, and how people choose to use this tool is up to them.

“Housing is educationally based,” Wiginton said.

The department is not meant as a punitive system. Although, if housing came across a student page with drinking depicted on campus, they would just be reminded of the dry campus policies. There would be no punishment, unless the students are caught in the act.

“It is probably the students fault for putting pictures of them breaking the rules,” said Ken Colby, a senior public relations major at ULV. “It’s like those dumb kids who vandalize something and video tape it, then the police get a hold of the video and prosecute them.”

You can find the housing page on MySpace at www.myspace.com/housing_programs.

Rick Montanez can be reached at phidelt139@hot mail.com.

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