Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites have now successfully infiltrated our phones, computers and even IPads but it’s time to get them out of our schools.
At GRCC, students are currently able to access these social networking sites at almost any location on campus where there is a computer.
All that is required is that students agree to terms the school has set and access is allowed for these sites.
As was stated in the story “GRCC looks to control use of Facebook, Twitter on campus” on page 3 of this issue, GRCC has now changed the social networking portion of the Authorized User Agreement.
The agreement states that school computers should be used for school purposes and social networking is allowed only to facilitate assigned work for Grand Rapids Community College, and for other educational, training or research purposes.
The question then becomes, what really happens if students don’t follow this agreement? So far, very little.
While students may be asked to log off a computer to allow others the ability to do homework, not much else is being done to enforce this rule.
Let’s look at part of the agreement again. “School computers should be used for school purposes.”
The agreement leaves no doubt as to what is expected of students and faculty.
The only use of social networking is for “school purposes.”
Imagine if the government was following the same logic that GRCC is following. Take laws that revolve around child labor.
These laws are set up by our government for a reason.
The reason behind these laws is to both protect our children as well as to ensure they are given every possible chance to succeed in life.
The law clearly states that there are 17 hazardous orders that protect those under the age of 18 from working in areas such as coal mining, manufacturing or storing explosives and operating power-driven meat-processing machines to name a few.
Think of the outrage if the government turned a cold shoulder to those who failed to follow these laws.
There would be child-rights groups rioting in the streets!
While this may may seem a little over the top, the comparison is clear.
If laws and regulations are going to be put in place, either by the government or by a college, they are to be followed and enforced.
Now is the time for GRCC to do just that. It is time for the school to limit Facebook and other social networking sites to only lab computers so those overseeing the labs can keep watch over the proper use of computers.
If students want to visit social networking sites, they may do that on their phones or personal lab tops but not on GRCC’s computers.