Distaste for Your Professor? Better Keep it to Yourself

Let’s say you don’t like one of your professors this semester. Shouldn’t you be able to give him or her a review online? Apparently Syracuse University doesn’t think so.
The Daily Orange‘s big story yesterday was about four SU freshmen, who, after apparently feeling their writing instructor didn’t “know what she’s doing ever,” started a Facebook group centered around this opinion.
For my readers who haven’t heard about Facebook, it’s just like MySpace, Friendster, Orkut, hi5, etc., except that it requires a college email address, and the required email addresses have been mostly limited to the U.S., although the U.K. and Mexico are now being invaded as well. More than 80 percent of American college students are members.
Anyway, so these girls started a group on this social network entitled “Clearly [instructor’s first name] doesn’t know what she’s doing ever.” As far as the article informed me, there was no threatening terminology to be found anywhere in this group. Besides the four founding members, there were approximately fifteen other students in the group.
To make a long story short, the instructor found out about this group and complained, which eventually led to these four students being placed on disciplinary probation until November of this year. One of them transfered out. Apparently SU has secretly made it a code of conduct violation to publicly criticize professors.
I find this highly alarming. Unfortunately my generation, unlike the one before it, is too passive to do anything about it. This incident differs from most of the hundreds of Facebook news stories that you can find online as it does not involve college administrators using Facebook to catch underage drinkers or to find out about potentially rowdy parties ahead of time. I was alarmed by this story because I feel punishment for non-treatening criticism is just plain wrong.
Apparently things are done a little different at the University of Louisville. There a Facebook group dedicated to criticizing a professor helped lead to the professor being let go. [Read more]
Read the Daily Orange article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *