Kris Cole 0

Ban CollegeACB from Emory Unplugged

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As an undergraduate community of Emory University, we urge the administration to prohibit access to the college gossip website through the Emory Unplugged network. Although the site advertises itself as an open forum for discussion, it is habitually used as an outlet for degrading, hateful and malicious statements that are largely directed against members of our community. Most threads disparage their subjects and cast our community in a misleading and negative light. While we understand that barring this site from the Emory Unplugged network might be viewed as an infringement on freedom of speech, we submit that the publication of knowingly false and libelous statements, especially when made under cover of anonymity, does not merit the University's protection. Indeed, the cloak of anonymity -- and the lack of accountability that goes hand in hand with it -- only encourages the contributors to the CollegeACB website to engage in scurrilous attacks on our members and to issue increasingly unflattering portrayals of our campus life. Removing the site from Emory Unplugged will eliminate one of the most prominent sources of tension and ill will on campus, and allow Emory to make faster progress towards stronger solidarity. The entire Emory University community stands to benefit greatly from removing access to a source that consistently creates controversy and poor relations amongst our students. The conduct exhibited on this site runs directly contrary to that which is called for in Emory’s mission statement. According to Emory,edu, “Emory University’s mission is to create, preserve, teach, and apply knowledge in the service of humanity.” One of the foremost ways in which we are expected to achieve such scholarship is through “a commitment to humane teaching and mentorship and a respectful interaction among faculty, students, and staff.” In calling for a ban on CollegeACB, we are urging the University to exercise its discretion over objectionable conduct. Had the site been focused on denigrating a minority group on campus, routinely using ethnic slurs or parading hostility towards women, we assert that the University would not take such a tolerant approach to the issue. The content on CollegeACB, however, is much more unacceptable than the above examples because it establishes no limits to dishonoring an individual’s persona. Not just one group is targeted, but all of Emory University and its community are up for attack. The role of Emory University is to instill knowledge in its members in order to service humanity. Emory seeks to promote thought and pursue truth. Therefore, it should not ignore a hate-filled website whose existence and content contradicts the expectations of our community. This University is held to a higher standard, and should be proactive in creating and sustaining such an environment.

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