Monday, December 10, 2007

Branching Out Into New Territory

After much prodding by my students, I finally joined Facebook. For the longest, I saw absolutely no use in it; it seemed just a frivolous waste of time. However, I've become convinced that my having a Facebook page will result in more students knowing what is actually going on in class more of the time.

Students inevitably check Facebook first thing when logging onto the internet. If they know that they can go to my page and be reminded of the due date for the next assignment, they will do that long before they will log into the school's server where I keep my class website. After exploring Facebook and its different applications, I have found that I can make my page a somewhat educational experience by adding news feeds and a "word a day" application. So as my students are goofing off online, maybe they will pick up some useful information that could actually turn into a good class discussion.

I'm continually finding that I have to go to where my students are if I'm going to be able to get them to learn what I need for them to learn. I'm hopeful that this will be a good experience.

(Of course, my students aren't the only people welcome at my Facebook page. If you know my real name so that you can find me there, I'll be glad to "friend" you.)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Who's to Blame?

Everyone at my university received the following email alert today:

A female [university] student reported that she was possibly sexually assaulted by someone she knew at [a particular] fraternity house in the early morning hours of Saturday, December 1, 2007. The female student reported that the alleged assault took place following a party at the house, and that she was incapacitated at the time of the incident.
This case is under investigation by the [university] Police Department.

Why was this female student "incapacitated"? Is it possible, just by an off chance, that she had passed out from drinking herself into oblivion? I hear from students all the time about their drinking binges in which the next day they remember little to nothing of the previous night's events. How does this student know that in a drunken stupor, she didn't consent to sex?

And does she plan to tell her parents about this "possible" sexual assault? If she does, will they be objective enough to realize her level of irresponsibility in putting herself into that kind of situation? Or will they want to place all the blame on the male student, or even blame the university?

I certainly do not condone the behavior of the person who possibly assaulted her, but this young woman certainly should bear some responsibility. Surely she has learned a lesson from this.