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October 6, 2005 8:03 PM   Subscribe

Fisher College sophmore Cameron Walker apparently didn't like a campus cop and posted about it on a forum at Facebook, a college networking site. He talked about watching the cop closely and trying to set the cop up which is admittedly some dodgy stuff, but is it worthy of expulsion from the university for his off-site comments?
posted by mathowie (38 comments total)

 
Ha, they call the full-time students the "Day Division". And they don't requires test scores for admissions. Is this a real school?
posted by smackfu at 8:16 PM on October 6, 2005


Could someone explain for me what a campus cop is? I've heard the term, but in my country universities don't have dedicated police forces. Are they really police? Or are they glorified security guards, or what?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:16 PM on October 6, 2005


"but is it worthy of expulsion from the university for his off-site comments?"

Yes?

Conspiring to frame someone seems expulsion-worthy to me.
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:18 PM on October 6, 2005


spleen: Here at KU, we have an actual KU police department. I'm not sure how they interface with the local Lawrence police, but they have their own distinctive patrol cars and mostly stay on campus. They are actual police. I would assume Fisher has the same setup.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 8:19 PM on October 6, 2005


'He's got to do something wrong, in either case, he's gotta foul up at some point . . . anyone willing to get arrested?"

No, and apparently, you weren't willing to get expelled judging by all the crying you're doing. Although I think the punishment may be more than deserved you can't make the idiotic claim that you posted to an off-site forum so you're absolved. If you are going to post stuff like this, you've got to expect some retribution. He clearly violated the ethics code of the school but then so do most college kids every weekend.
posted by j.p. Hung at 8:20 PM on October 6, 2005


Speaking as someone who's facebook time is only exceeded by his time on metafilter. I have to ask...
Umm are they on crack??? Facebook is not that serious.

Is this a real school?


Conspiring to frame someone seems expulsion-worthy to me.
Seems more like threatened to conspire to me. There is no mention that he was proceeding with his plan.
posted by Rubbstone at 8:25 PM on October 6, 2005


He clearly violated the ethics code of the school but then so do most college kids every weekend.

Most college kids don't plan to manipulate the law for the purpose of ruining someone's life, I'd wager.
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:26 PM on October 6, 2005


Oh, and facebook groups aren't really anything like traditional online forums; they're more like online social clubs. You join a group that interests you and can post comments, but the groups are not set up well for dynamic discussion. For instance, some of the groups I belong to are "Proud to Drive a Volvo," "KJRFC Mothafucka" (rugby), and "Opeth Will Shatter Your Soul." They're more like social statements than forums.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 8:27 PM on October 6, 2005


I'd have to say it's up to the school to decide what is expulsion-worthy, not us.
posted by keswick at 8:28 PM on October 6, 2005


Yes. The trend toward colleges being purely consumer-driven institutions, where $X buys a degree, is corrosive; and one good solution is to revive the notion that moral turpitude earns expulsion and ostracization. It's not sufficient that you ace tests and write papers. If you lie, if you steal, if you conspire to harm someone, then you lose the privilege of joining the Fisher alumni.
posted by cribcage at 8:29 PM on October 6, 2005


Could someone explain for me what a campus cop is? I've heard the term, but in my country universities don't have dedicated police forces.

Most colleges/universities in the U.S. have their own police/security forces, with many given the ability to arrest for misdemeanor and felony crimes.
posted by ericb at 8:32 PM on October 6, 2005


Is this a real school?

It's a junior college with a few business-related bachelor's degrees.

IANA expert on this, but in NC anyway campus cops were affiliated with the county sheriffs -- basically they were county deputies, with all privileges and responsibilities thereunto pertaining, who were paid by the school.

Usually campus cops are nicer than town cops, especially about stuff like underage drinkin', a little bit o' weed, etc.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:40 PM on October 6, 2005


cribcage writes "one good solution is to revive the notion that moral turpitude earns expulsion and ostracization"

But won't that cause undue nervous strain on the poor kids? I mean, they're raised knowing that they can have everything they want, when they want it. Wouldn't it be unfair to change that so harshly? Specially in cases like this, when the kid is clearly joking with servant, an underling who's there just to keep the kids safe?

/sarcasm
posted by nkyad at 8:50 PM on October 6, 2005


The article mentions that Walker was president of the SGA. I would think he would be a little smarter about things.

From what I have seen though, most people don't realize how open the Facebook is. They think they're safe just because you have to be a registered member with a university e-mail address. However, this includes professors, administrators, and alumni. Anyone in your school can view all of the information in your profile unless you explicitly disallow it in your account settings. People need to be informed that everything they say on the Facebook can be easily monitored.
posted by kyleg at 8:50 PM on October 6, 2005


People need to be informed that everything they say on the Facebook can be easily monitored.

People need to be informed that "much of what they say on the Internets" can be easily monitored.
posted by ericb at 8:59 PM on October 6, 2005


Usually campus cops are nicer than town cops, especially about stuff like underage drinkin', a little bit o' weed, etc.

Around here, the campus PD are known as the assholes. Especialy on traffic ticket.
posted by delmoi at 9:04 PM on October 6, 2005


People need to be informed...
[full stop]
posted by edgeways at 9:14 PM on October 6, 2005


The university I go to started a policy regarding thefacebook that seems a bit weird. If any student has any mention/picture of alcohol in their profile and they are a member of any student group on campus, they can be kicked out of said group or at least asked to change their profile. Even though thefacebook isn't an on-campus or university sponsered kind of thing, the school still monitors it.
They did ask me to remove a picture of me enjoying a beer, but they were pretty nice about it. Other students who weren't as cooperative about it got into a bit more trouble.

On preview, I notice the site is for facebook.com but I have found that thefacebook.com has a lot more users.
posted by idiotfactory at 9:19 PM on October 6, 2005


He talked about watching the cop closely and trying to set the cop up which is admittedly some dodgy stuff, but is it worthy of expulsion from the university for his off-site comments?

Posting it on a webserver is not quite the same thing as being overhead in a bar, but the question is valid. Considering the architecture and reach of the internet, it is in every case difficult to say what makes a comment "offsite" in a physical sense.

A Fisher College sophomore has been expelled for comments he posted on the student networking website Facebook.

'If I had posted it on the school's website, I could understand, but I didn't. I posted on a site where students network."

That fails the credibility test. The dude was was posting information regarding potential criminal activity on school property, using the legal domains of the schools computer system. Expulsion? He got off easy.
posted by three blind mice at 9:30 PM on October 6, 2005


Hmm... need more information.

It sounds as if the student was conspiring with others to arrange the artificial termination of a college employee; no minor thing, and certainly nothing to be admired or ebcouraged.

The student sounds like a spoiled little jerk-off, but perhaps he had some valid concerns about the behaviour of the officer in question. Were this true though, it seems likely that other remedys might have been sought.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:49 PM on October 6, 2005


On preview, I notice the site is for facebook.com but I have found that thefacebook.com has a lot more users.

Um, those are the same website (both resolve to the same ip address). Just to clarify.
posted by potch at 9:50 PM on October 6, 2005


That fails the credibility test. The dude was was posting information regarding potential criminal activity on school property, using the legal domains of the schools computer system. Expulsion? He got off easy.

No no no, he was posting it on facebook, which is not school property, but a privately held company that hosts the website.

Incidentally, anyone with a fisher.edu email address, or any .edu email address for a college on facebook can join. Not just students, but faculty, staff, even an alumnus with a .edu address, so to call it a student network is a misnomer.

Also, facebook.com and thefacebook.com belong to the same website, they point to the same servers.
posted by tweak at 9:52 PM on October 6, 2005


idiotfactory, your university's alcohol policy is interesting; is it a Christian school? I haven't heard of administrations at other schools get so involved in the Facebook.

My problem with the site is that the Facebook is percieved as a closed system of student networking, and people only realize that it isn't when somebody gets in trouble. It's certainly not directly affiliated with individual schools, but Walker apparently was using the college's computer network to make these postings, and I think for that reason punishment is certainly justified.
posted by kyleg at 9:57 PM on October 6, 2005


Yes, it is worthy of expulsion. You cannot allow the students of a university to conspire to have staff fired.

Furthermore, the student is a moron. The school must have a mechanism in place for addressing inappropriate behavior of its employees toward its students. He should have gone through the proper channels.

Oh look, it took all of 5 minutes to find this in the Fisher catalogue via Google.
"Any student or employee who has been the victim of prohibited harassment or who has witnessed such harassment must immediately notify the Dean of Students or the Director of Human Resources so the situation can be promptly investigated and remedied. If it is the Dean of Students or the Director of Human Resources who is responsible for the harassment or reporting the situation fails to remedy the situation, complaints of harassment must immediately be reported to the President’s Offi ce. It is Fisher College’s policy to investigate all harassment complaints thoroughly and promptly. To the fullest extent practicable, Fisher College will maintain the confi dentiality of those involved. If an investigation confirms that harassment has occurred, Fisher College will take corrective action. Corrective action may include discipline up to and including immediate termination of employment. Fisher College forbids retaliation against anyone who has reported harassment or who has cooperated in the investigation of harassment complaints."
posted by oddman at 10:22 PM on October 6, 2005


Regardless of whose computer facilities he used, Walker just looks like a horrible person throughout this story, as though he was convinced that everyone who disagreed with him or disliked him was perscuting him. Future sites of education take note.
posted by allen.spaulding at 10:23 PM on October 6, 2005


kyleg
Nope, it's a State U. In the bible belt.
They've been real finicky about alcohol ever since the school was mentioned few years back for being one of the top party schools according to Playboy. Now it's boring as hell.

I have learned to never talk smack about anyone, especially the internet because that someone always finds out. Always.
posted by idiotfactory at 10:27 PM on October 6, 2005


Exactly, oddman.

I had the same reaction, but didn't actually care enough to go 'n' reseach it. Now, I owe you 2.5 minutes, or some such , I'm guessin'.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:54 PM on October 6, 2005


Thanks. You guys really ARE a foreign country.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:17 PM on October 6, 2005


Sorry for the derail, but j.p. Hung is a bot, right? One set at "SPEW: Fucking Wankery // 1," right? I ask solely for copyright reasons, as I'm working on my own NeanderBot (TM) and, you know, would hate to have to deal with lawyers and whatnot.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:26 PM on October 6, 2005


ugh. bad situation, but the kid should know better. if, during my undergrad tenure, i had maintained a website from my apartment -- completely separate from any university IP space whatsoever -- and posted, e.g., blogs about how i was conspiring to ruin the life of a university employee based upon nothing but my own negative opinion of their conducts, and a university official had happened upon it somehow, i wouldn't be a damn bit surprised if i got expelled. my university had an ethics code -- rarely enforced, perhaps, but it exists to give officials a certain (needed) degree of discretion in situations like this.

if it was really a situation that wasn't quite so seemingly black-and-white, one would think that the kid would have some sort of legal recourse. --which is as it should be. his institution shouldn't be able to sabotage his future. but on the other hand, not every crime can be predicted beforehand, and if he was intending to do this, it's a light sentence at best had he gone through with it and been caught.

hard decision, yes, but the moral here is: don't be an idiot.

and also: if you're going to act like a sociopath, you should goddamn know better than to post it all over the internets by now. jesus h christ.
posted by spiderwire at 12:55 AM on October 7, 2005


anyone willing to get arrested?
He deserves expulsion for being a spineless shit unwilling to the deed himself.
posted by Joeforking at 1:51 AM on October 7, 2005


No no no, he was posting it on facebook, which is not school property, but a privately held company that hosts the website

Yes, but he was posting from a computer owned and mainatined by Fisher, housed on Fisher property, connected to the internets by Fisher's network.
posted by eustacescrubb at 2:29 AM on October 7, 2005


You cannot allow the students of a university to conspire to have staff fired.

I disagree with this statement, simply on the grounds that back at my college, members of the faculty regularly conspired to have other faculty members fired.

That said, lacking first-hand knowledge, the cited regulation against 'verbal, written, graphic, or electronic abuse, harassment, coercion, or intimidation of an individual" seems to have been correctly applied in this case. Not every disciplinary action taken by college officials is imbecilic.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:19 AM on October 7, 2005


I disagree with this statement, simply on the grounds that back at my college, members of the faculty regularly conspired to have other faculty members fired.

The tenure process doesn't count.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:43 AM on October 7, 2005


Wow, what a bunch of authoritarians you folks are. On the University of Michigan's campus, the cops are county sheriffs. And while some of them are decent, they tend to be far harder on everything than city cops (and they operate under state laws for marijuana possession). They're also more brutal in their treatment of suspects. In the first year that they took over for city policing on campus, they used their nightsticks twices as often, and since then have averaged about 1.5 times as many uses of force as the city cops. And city cops deal with a population four times as large.
I'm more likely to believe that this guy was fed up and frustrated with having a jackbooted cop on campus, and had been rebuffed by the administration when trying to get the cop removed. Oh, and frankly the general tenor of watching the cop so as to get them fired when they screw up is what everyone SHOULD be doing. Setting them up (by making false charges) is wrong and illegal, but it's unclear from the selective quote both whether that was what was intended and whether it was just a student blowing off steam. I've posted on my livejournal about wanting to feed a Cosby-esque prof of mine Jello pudding until he had a heart attack. Let's hope I don't get expelled for it.
posted by klangklangston at 6:15 AM on October 7, 2005


Ahem, "I disagree with this statement, simply on the grounds that back at my college, members of the faculty regularly conspired to have other faculty members fired."

Where those faculty members committing fraud, stalking or attempting to misuse the law? In any case, you don't avoid moral responsibility simply because other people are acting immorally too.
posted by oddman at 6:34 AM on October 7, 2005


Where those faculty members committing fraud, stalking or attempting to misuse the law?

No, no, just political backstabbing. I wasn't trying to condone this particular student's actions; I only meant that in certain situations, sauce for the goose can be sauce for the gander. If an English professor is ethically permitted to, say, spread vicious rumors about one of his colleagues among the administration because students have stopped signing up for his classes in favor of the new guy, perhaps students should be permitted to use similar tactics against staff or faculty they dislike. But we're talking about completely different situations here.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:44 AM on October 7, 2005


Not really. The student didn't actually do anything, and the article doesn't say anything about what was planned. It could have simply been rumors.
posted by klangklangston at 10:41 PM on October 7, 2005


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