Juicy Campus blocked at certain campuses

  • Juicy campus is a very hot topic among college campuses right now
  • Schools are starting to ban it from their networks
  • Some students and parents think that the website is bad news.
  • Those that work at Juicy Campus think the website is a good thing

Juicy Campus is one of the most hotly debated topics on college campuses around the country, and some colleges are starting to take a stand against the controversial Web site.

Earlier this month, Tennessee State University banned access to Juicy Campus via university Internet. Cheryl Bates-Lee, spokeswoman and director of Media Relations at Tennessee State University, explained the Web site is not banned from campus.

"We just blocked it from our server," Bates-Lee said. "If a student is on a different network they can access Juicy Campus."

Bates-Lee said she thinks the Web site is not relevant to Tennessee State.

"Our network is a private network," Bates-Lee said. "It did not represent the academic environment that we are in."

This was not the only reason why Juicy Campus was taken off the network.

"Yes, we had students complain," Bates-Lee said. "When students threaten one another, as an institution we need to be proactive in our approach to our students."

Since it was blocked, Bates-Lee said she has not heard any complaints about the Web site being restricted. In fact, the only feedback received has been nothing short of praise.

"We have heard from both parents and students about the matter," Bates-Lee said. "Quite a few students are saying 'great job' and parents have been saying, 'fantastic job TSU.' "

Mary Pat Pfeil, senior director of university communication in the Office of Marketing and Communication, acknowledged concerns about the Web site.

"A few student concerns about the Juicy Campus Web site have been brought to the attention of the Office of Residence Life and the Department of Public Safety," Pfeil said in an e-mail. "Because the posts are anonymous, it is difficult to track their source. We hope that students posting to and reading items on this or similar sites will keep in mind that 'as a Catholic, Jesuit university Marquette recognizes and cherishes the dignity of each individual.' Entries on such sites that impugn the reputation of an individual, including racist comments, repeat gossip or innuendos, or making other inappropriate comments are not keeping with the values the university seeks to uphold."

Michael Hechinger, a sophomore in the College of Communication, does not think Juicy Campus should be banned, but thinks people should use discretion when they are posting comments.

"I don't think it should be banned because people have the right to their own opinions," Hechinger said. "I think it is unfair that people are posting anonymously."

While some people think the Web site needs changes, those at Juicy Campus do not see any problems with it.

Matt Ivester, president & founder of Juicy Campus, said he does not think the Web site is just an outlet for people to post mean comments about others, but it is much more than that.

"The original idea was for it to be a place where students could talk about the crazy things that go on everyday, whether it was a great road trip, awesome parties or quirky professors," Ivester said. "The idea is to provide content created by students for students, talking about things that interest them most in the manner they deem most appropriate without some administrator or adult presiding."

Ivester said he understands the concerns of students and parents, but he does not think banning it is the solution. He said he was disappointed in TSU's decision to ban the site.

"The answer is not censorship," Ivester said. "The answer is education. On the first regard we always encourage people, if they see something they disagree with, to reply to the post and say that that's not true and provide differing opinion or different information. I love reading that stuff. I'm so inspired by that. Sometimes you'll see a mean post then you will see 20 replies that are all totally positive."

While Ivester admitted that some of the things on the site can be very harsh, he said they only remove things based on three criterion.

"We remove contact information, illegal hate speech and spam," Ivester said. "If someone calls in saying, 'hey, there is a post saying I cheated on my girlfriend. That's not true. I demand that you take it down.' We say, 'sorry buddy.' "

For those who think Juicy Campus is going to go away because of a lawsuit or lack of popularity, Ivester assured that probably would not happen.

"We have very broad federal immunity under the Communications Decency Act of 1996, section 230," Ivester said. "We launched on just seven campuses on Oct. 24, 2007 just to see if anyone would care about the Web site. We are on 500 campuses now and our hope is to be on every single campus eventually."