As students started to settle into the new semester at Rollins, talk buzzed among upperclassmen and new students alike with the mysterious new creation of the Facebook page “Rollins Confessions”. On this page, an anonymous administrator sifts through student-submitted comments on anything and everything Rollins-related, and then posts these comments on a public “Rollins Confessions” page for the students’ entertainment. The comments range from topics such as: “Why are there hardly any house parties?” “Where are the stoners?” “Ward has the hottest guy RAs,” and “Damn, I love Rollins sandwiches.”
The administrator of the page shares why he/she created the page; “I actually found out about this whole confessions craze by stumbling upon the college-confessions.com website after doing some Google searches. There are a ton of schools that had confessions pages and we didn’t… And it has been fun reading all of these confessions that range from the sweet and heartfelt to the freakishly bizarre.” At last count, the page had 905 likes and the administrator hopes to reach 1000 likes soon.
Not everyone in the Rollins community has been supportive. Rollins administration was displeased, to say the least, with the use of the Rollins logo on the page’s profile picture and cover photo. The Rollins administration’s representative lawyer contacted the administrator in a letter demanding that he/she stop using all copyrighted trademarks of Rollins College. In response, the administrator created a generic logo, and on its new cover photo states, “If it was not already COMPLETELY obvious, this page is NOT affiliated with Rollins College in any way whatsoever.” The page no longer is in any legal trouble.
President Duncan issued this statement regarding the matter: “Use of the College’s logo and institutional photos, which are protected by copyright, suggested that the Rollins Confessions Facebook page was officially endorsed by the College. We asked the creators of the page to remove them, which they did. Rollins has a worldwide reputation for excellence, and we are vigilant about protecting it for our students and alumni.”
Still, many people on campus disagree with the page’s use of anonymity. Panhellenic President Jesyca Ramirez ’14 says, “I’m all for free speech, but people can do some serious harm on these types of pages and it tends to be more negative than positive. Because it’s anonymous, there is no accountability.” Comments have been posted on the page about various fraternities and sororities, other campus organizations, and individuals using their initials.
“Rollins Confessions” administrator maintains that that there is a censorship policy in place. “I think we have been pretty good about not letting the truly mean confessions through, or at least editing them to make them generic enough that they don’t single out a person in a negative way. If we accidentally let something through that is derogatory towards an individual, we welcome messages to let us know and we are quick to take those confessions down,” he/she says. A commenter posted on the Confessions page: “I am so sick of people saying this page ‘doesn’t represent our school’ and ‘it’s like high school.’ It’s a silly page with things that happen at our school. If you don’t want to be connected to it or associated with it, don’t like the page and stop posting on it… it’s that simple.”
Another anonymous administrator created a “Rollins Compliments” Facebook page in reaction to the controversy of “Rollins Confessions”. The page had 643 likes at last count, and features positive statements about Rollins College and its students, such as: “Thank you so much to the guy behind me at the C-Store today who gave me a dollar when I forgot my money. Chivalry is not dead.”
Students continue to comment on the “Rollins Confessions” page and the administrator has no plans to stop. “I think if the college was smart they would back off and let their students get these things off their chest,” he/she says. “Heck, they might even learn a thing or two about what their students are really thinking/feeling. Or maybe even learn who Lindsay Lohan is perhaps?”