University of Richmond was not immune to the national trend of college students setting up “confessions” Facebook pages for their schools, which has become popular in the past few years. But the Richmond Confessions page has had such an impact on the university community that leaders of three student organizations thought it would be beneficial to host a roundtable discussion focusing on it.
A team of anonymous administrators runs Richmond Confessions. Students can submit their thoughts about people, events or situations on campus, and the administrators post submissions anonymously. Any Facebook user can read and comment on the submissions that are posted.
There has been concern at a national level that college confessions pages could contribute to bullying, offend some readers or decrease others’ self-esteem.
Some of the page’s most recent posts include: “I, like many others here, didn’t get a bid. I feel betrayed by my friends in those sororities that rejected me.”
“theta chi ‘s [sic] should not take over our table! We still have a presence at this school and you guys are pissing us off!”
“Someone needs to take a snow machine and demolish Ayers’ house so he cancels class.”
Because of the page’s controversial nature, Diversity Roundtable, Richmond College Student Government Association and Westhampton College Government Association co-sponsored the open discussion at 9 p.m Monday.
“We all know that [Richmond Confessions] has a huge impact on our campus culture, and we just wanted to know what other students here thought about it,” said senior Victoria Navarro, student coordinator for Diversity Roundtable.
Only students were allowed to attend the event, to promote a comfortable environment for discussion. The approximately 20 students who were present had mixed opinions about Richmond Confessions.
Sophomore Luis Davila said the posts on the page made it seem as though there was a big social gap between Greek and non Greek students, but in reality, he did not see that large of a divide at Richmond.
Molly Rossi, also a sophomore, said she had noticed people post encouraging comments to posts where students expressed struggles.
“I think there’s a lot of things about Confessions that can move toward bullying,” she said, “but there’s something more to it as well, as far as creating a community.”
Patrick Love, president of Richmond College Student Government Association, said Richmond Confessions “widens your perspective on what a lot of other individuals are going through that you might not find out about a lot of the time.”
Monday morning, a Richmond Confessions representative said in a Facebook message that the administrators probably would not be present at the event, but they would be “interested to hear what [had come] of it.”
Contact reporter Catherine Sinclair at firstname.lastname@example.org