Gossip Stirs SGA Crusade

Matt Ciepielowski

Amanda Gogh

Gossip has always had a large presence on college campuses, but Juicycampus.com has put it online for all to see.
Topics such as “Worst Hook Ups” and “Pregnant Soccer Girl” have some Quinnipiac students very upset, and action has begun against the Web site.
On Sept. 24, SGA unanimously voted to recommend that the administration block Juicycampus from the school network.
“I received numerous concerns about having Juicycampus blocked or taken down,” Jason Caplin, vice president of student concerns, said. “I’ve had concerns about how students are fed up with it. There have been names mentioned and they’re extremely upset.”
Caplin said that he received ten written complaints and approximately 20 face-to-face complaints about the site.
If the administration agrees to SGA’s request, it will be the first time that Quinnipiac had ever blocked a Web site from the university’s network.
There have been rumors that the school is somehow restricting access to Juicycampus already, but Brian Kelly, information security officer, denied them.
“We don’t block anything, we don’t restrict any, we don’t censor, we don’t do any of that currently,” Kelly said.
However, the site does load noticeably slower on the school network than it does on other networks.
Kelly insisted that the university was doing nothing to slow traffic to Juicycampus.
“There are things we do with shaping traffic, there’s nothing specific to Juicycampus,” Kelly said.
If Quinnipiac does block Juicycampus, it will be first college to do so. The student government at Pepperdine made a similar request to their administration, but the school decided not to block the site.
“Once you go down that road and get on this slippery path, how do you make decisions on what you block, when you block, or how you block?” Timothy Chester, Pepperdine’s chief information officer, asked in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The motion was put forth at the SGA meeting by sophomore class representative Louis Venturelli. It stated that Quinnipiac should denounce “deplorable acts of hatred” on campus and block the “online gossip website” Juicycampus.com.
Not only was the motion passed unanimously, but there was not one comment argued against it at the meeting.
Before the meeting, Caplin sent an e-mail to the leaders of various student organizations on campus, and over 30 of them voiced their support for the proposal.
“There have been suicides because of things said (on Juicycampus),” Caplin said. “People are worried about getting jobs because if an employer goes on and sees ‘this girl’s a coke-head’ they’re obviously not going to want to hire her.”
There have even been shooting threats posted on the site. On Dec. 12 last year, Carlos Huerta, a student at Loyola Marymount University, posted, “I am going to shoot and kill as many people as I can until which time I am incapacitated or killed by the police.”
He was later apprehended by police, and it was determined that the threat was never valid.
While students at Loyola Marymount were never in any danger, incidents like that one have tainted Juicycampus’s reputation. While the Web site seems innocent enough at first, with a banner proclaiming, “This is the place to spill the juice about all the crazy stuff going on at your campus,” many have come to see it as something much more dangerous than that.
Sean Geary, president of SGA, reflected the opinions of most SGA members, saying, “For me personally, I’d say we’re trying to build a sense of community here, a place where people feel comfortable–a place where we are prideful and spirited about Quinnipiac and about being a family. I’m not going to stand.and I don’t think the student government should stand for anything that is counteractive or counterproductive to building that sense of community.”