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Damn, I'm good...

A little over a week ago, I wrote about "Facebook," a web site where high school and college students can come together, find out about each other, and exchange ideas. (I refuse to use the buzzword "network.") At that time, I pointed out just how stupid it was for students to post such things as their devotion to pot on the site, not knowing just who might end up looking at it -- especially since it uses their real names.

Apparently I underestimated the stupidity of college students. I didn't think that was possible, but it is.

Cameron Walker is a sophomore at Fisher College in Boston, Massachusetts. He's also president of the Student Government Association. And he's not that thrilled with a certain campus police officer.

In fact, he's so un-thrilled that he used Facebook to post a petition to get rid of the officer. And if that failed, he called for students to watch the officer for any violations, and even to "set him up" and get him fired.

By some amazing twist of fate that absolutely no one could have foreseen, the college administration found out about Mr. Walker's Facebook activities. And in an incredibly brutal miscarriage of justice, decided that his efforts to deprive the officer of his job (by hook or by crook) just might constitute a violation of their harassment policy, and expelled him. (Yes, I'm being extremely sarcastic.)

One is supposed to go to college to learn things, and Mr. Walker has learned an extremely valuable lesson: if you say things publicly such as ''Either we get a petition going [we need at least 500 signatures] or we try and set him up. He's got to do something wrong, in either case, he's gotta foul up at some point . . . anyone willing to get arrested?" and "the officer ''loves to antagonize students . . . and needs to be eliminated," there is a very good chance that people will take you at your word, and react appropriately.

Well, maybe he hasn't learned it yet. He's talking with lawyers and the ACLU about his case.


Comments (14)

here's an epitaph:... (Below threshold)
josep malik:

here's an epitaph:

Freedom of Speech
1776-2005

Freedom's one thing, stupid... (Below threshold)

Freedom's one thing, stupidity's another. Petition? Fine. Setting up the officer? Um - questionable, but if the officer is REALLY a problem, then maybe. Blathering it all over Facebook? Indiscreet, at the least, stupid at worst. Violating the college's rules? That's the real problem. As someone in high office (well, kinda) he was extremely visible. As posted in the paper -

In her letter to Walker, the dean of students noted that Walker's commentary violated the code of conduct's prohibition against, ''verbal, written, graphic, or electronic abuse, harassment, coercion, or intimidation of an individual."
... Walker, she wrote, had failed to uphold the conduct expected of students, and ''betrayed the trust and misused the authority vested in you as President of the Student Government Association."
He was stainding in a spotlight, and did stupid stuff. Sorry, that's not a 'death of free speech' - if anything, it's self-selected removal from the college darwinian gene pool.

J.

Freedom's one thing, stupid... (Below threshold)

Freedom's one thing, stupidity's another. Petition? Fine. Setting up the officer? Um - questionable, but if the officer is REALLY a problem, then maybe. Blathering it all over Facebook? Indiscreet, at the least, stupid at worst.

Violating the college's rules? That's the real problem. As someone in high office (well, kinda) he was extremely visible. As posted in the paper -

In her letter to Walker, the dean of students noted that Walker's commentary violated the code of conduct's prohibition against, ''verbal, written, graphic, or electronic abuse, harassment, coercion, or intimidation of an individual."
... Walker, she wrote, had failed to uphold the conduct expected of students, and ''betrayed the trust and misused the authority vested in you as President of the Student Government Association."
He was standing in a spotlight, and did stupid stuff. Sorry, that's not a 'death of free speech' - if anything, it's self-selected removal from the college darwinian gene pool.

The world widens considerably for college students - but it's not limitless or without internal rules. He smacked hard against the boundary. Sorry, no movement on the sympathy meter for this guy.

J.

Er, (blush) sorry for the d... (Below threshold)

Er, (blush) sorry for the double-post there. Could you please remove the first one? (11:46 AM)

thank you...

J.

Freedom of speech does not ... (Below threshold)
meep:

Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from responsibility for what you say.

There's lots of illegal speech out there. If you threaten to murder somebody, you can get criminal charges for that. If you spread nasty falsehoods about somebody to damage them, you can get sued for that (it's called slander). And if you exhort students to frame a person because they annoy you, you can get expelled from college (also, you can get expelled from college if you plagiarize, which must be another crims against freedom of speech). Seems fair to me.

'here's an epitaph:<p... (Below threshold)
ICallMasICM:

'here's an epitaph:

Freedom of Speech
1776-2005'

the irony of posting on the web about the loss of freedom of speech is apparently lost on some.

Appears as though the colle... (Below threshold)
JEW:

Appears as though the college gave the officer the same protection they would afford a student. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

My guess it's the "set him ... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

My guess it's the "set him up" and "eliminate him" that got the guy in trouble. The peition and following formal complaint procedures would have been the logical next step. If the administration didn't follow up then you go to the Alumni association and get pressure applied. Nothing motivates a school adminstration like a threat to the contributions.

Publicly jumping to anarchy-like actions is, well, pretty damn stupid. Instead of coming acorss like a student with a legitmate beef against an abusive campus police officer he ends up looking like a spoiled brat with an axe to grind.

"Setting up the officer? Um... (Below threshold)
Joel Franklin:

"Setting up the officer? Um - questionable, but if the officer is REALLY a problem, then maybe."

No, no, and no. "Set up" implies creating an appearance of guilt when there is no guilt. Synonyms are "framing" and "entrapping."

If the officer's actions are objectively wrong (policy violations, racial discrimination, unprovoked harassment, etc.) then there is no need to set him up. Document his acts and file formal complain about them. If the actions aren't objectively wrong, then the officer is carrying out campus police policies. Lobby the administration to change the policies if they are objectionable.

I'm inclined to give the officer the benefit of the doubt in this case. As Captain Jack Sparrow might have said, "Of the two of us, I'm the only one who hasn't said to lie about someone's actions, so it's my word we'll be trusting."

Apparently I've led a shelt... (Below threshold)

Apparently I've led a sheltered life. I know we had a small outpost for cops on campus at SSU, but I only found this out after class one night around 10pm when my car wouldn't start and the pay phone was out. They bailed me out.

Poor Fisher students have cops in their face. The horror!

I respect all of your openi... (Below threshold)
DEBBIE:

I respect all of your openions, but honestly, if you are going to bash a fellow college mate of mine or good friend, then get the facts stright, A) Walker never made a murderoius remark towards the Officer B) the problem at had is the fact that a student was expelled for making a remark on this site. If you had read the boston globe on this subject you would have seen that the facebook director made a remark on how Facebook had no affileation with US Colleges or universties, also in the studnet handbook it states that a kid when going into a hearing may have a teacher and/or student present, the college failed to do so. This dreatsic measure of expelsion was done to fast and it resulted in two of my good friends suspension along with mr. walker. i believe that what they did was wrong, but the punnishment did not fit the crime. When a pervious incident of students getting cought with achol on campus, resolted in punisment of a letter. Does this seem right? NO because achol is not only aganist what the student handbook stands for, also it a leagal state matter, the punishment here should have been a possible withdrawl from campus. But for making a remark this punnishment was rushed, and now a very bright kid is expelled. Their should have been a different punnishment, this one was to drastic and i ask for you all to have the common cursity to look at your facts agian, instead of making outlandish remarks.
Sincerley
I LOVE CAMERON WALKER

Debbie, if your presentatio... (Below threshold)

Debbie, if your presentation is any example of the typical student at Fisher College, they ought to expel you before parents decide to stop sending their kids there. I mean, sure, they say love is blind, but they never said anything about love not being able to spell. Besides, how bright could Cameron really be if he does something this incredibly stupid? Come to think of it, maybe you two really are made for each other.

This kid is ok... (Below threshold)
Former Teacher:

This kid is ok

This is a fine young man. ... (Below threshold)
Teach again:

This is a fine young man. If he has become misguided since I knew him - I know not. Perhaps he does not realize that those campus cops have a bitch of a job and make nothing (and the administration would rather railroad you for that guilt) .I will tell you this, Cam has made quite a splash for a kid at a mediocre 2 yr school (probably trying to make a splash themselves - can't you all see this). It is the American way, for better or worse - maybe now he can use his mini-fame and apply to a finer school. Do you know who this is Cam? I support Fisher, the officer, and Cam...why not.
Teacher X




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