'Boston College Confessions' Shuts Down
Page Stops Accepting Submissions Following Controversy Over Post No. 7122
Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 10, 2013 02:10
Following the response to post No. 7122 on the Boston College Confessions Facebook page last week—a post that detailed three alleged cases of sexual assaults on campus—the moderators of the page announced Monday afternoon that they would stop accepting submissions.
“After some discussion among the page moderators, we have decided that it is time for us to shut down the page,” read the post. “We sincerely appreciate all of the people who have continued to read and contribute to the page; it is all of you that made the page what it is. The constant stream of supportive comments has shown that no matter what you might be going through, the BC community is willing to help you through it.”
A tacit acknowledgement of last week’s events was followed by a reiteration of the page’s original purpose.
“We hope that, despite some controversy, BC confessions has had a positive impact on our school,” the moderators wrote. “It has reminded us that we never know exactly what our fellow students are going through, and an action as simple as a smile can make a world of difference. We apologize to those that relied on this page for both entertainment and for support, and we would like to remind everyone that BC has support systems in place for anyone who might need it.”
Many students commented on the update, expressing disappointment and clamoring for a new, retitled confessions page.
The page administrators responded to one query about obstacles that they faced: “The only roadblocks we had was that we would have had to change the name so that it is unrelated to BC,” read a comment from BC Confessions. “The decision was a personal one and was not at all forced by the administration.”
After a new Facebook page titled “Eagle Confessions” posted a link to its page, the moderators of the Boston College Confessions page commented again: “The bc [sic] administration told us we could not use the words BC, Boston College, Eagles, or Heights.”
Less than an hour later, a page titled Confessions from a University in the Vicinity of Chestnut Hill commented on the update: “After some deliberation, we’ve decided to march on and continue receiving confessions from students attending The-University-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named.”
Dean of Students Paul Chebator confirmed in an email Tuesday morning that he and the three site moderators had a conversation about the Facebook page after the events surrounding post No. 7122 last week.
“The discussion centered on how they were dealing, personally, with the impact of the post in question and, secondly, my concern that they were using BC’s trademarked terms without authorization,” Chebator said. “We then had a general conversation about the site itself and its value, or lack thereof, to the community in light of the numerous complaints that they had received from fellow students and community members. At no time were they told that they could not keep the site going—however I did ask them to not use any BC trademarks without authorization. The decision to shut down the site was their own.”
Chebator also commented on the University’s response to the student who submitted post No. 7122. “With respect to the student responsible, he is no longer a student at Boston College,” Chebator said. “BCPD did investigate this matter after his confession and is convinced that the matter was a hoax.”