Two important issues every college student faces are their future and their social life; the answer to every five year old’s inquiry of, “what am I going to be when I grow up?” and every college student’s need for a social life. Images from popular culture such as Animal House have led to the misconception that college is a marathon party with only sleep coming between random hookups, hangovers, and the occasional paper or test. Generation Y’s college students have taken to online websites such as Facebook to reach out to people they may never meet in person to make new friends. However, serious challenges may be faced by a college student’s use of Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes founded Facebook while attending Harvard. The website was successful within the Harvard community and quickly spread to other Ivy League institutions. Zuckerberg and Moskovitz left college to manage Facebook as a full time job. As of November 2004 Facebook has reached over one million users. During 2005 Facebook expanded to 835 colleges throughout the country extending its reach to community colleges and educational institutions in other countries. You can now find facebook at all colleges in the nation reaching over 2,200. While many students have adopted Facebook into their day-to-day routines, educational institutions have begun to react to the site’s growing popularity.
In October of 2005 a student at Fisher College in Boston, Massachusetts was expelled for negative comments posted about a University Police Officer. Penn State University Police utilized Facebook to find students who disrupted a game against Ohio State. Students at Northern Kentucky University were penalized for posting photos of a drinking party on their Facebook page. Kansas State University made use of Facebook to look into possible breaches in the campus’s honor code when students made use of Facebook to trade information without the Professor’s knowledge. The University of New Mexico blocked access to Facebook from on campus facilities due to violations of the school’s acceptable use policy. Most concerning to the school was the usage of a University of New Mexico email address to use Facebook for non-school purposes. According to a report in Syracuse University’s Daily Orange, SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry's Undergraduate Student Association sent out an email warning the student body of campus policy violations on Facebook. Chip Morris, Director of Student Conduct & Community Standards at SUNY Potsdam, has already handled several cases involving Facebook here.