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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Question 3: What's in a Facebook Group?...

Although others may disagree with me on this, I feel that one of the best ways to find out about a person is through their Facebook groups. While some are comical (i.e. "Hurlbut--We Love it In Da 'but") others have a more serious message (i.e. "Save Darfur"). In any event, one fact is universal among Facebook groups: people join because they identify with the interests of the group and its corrresponding organization or ideology, genuine or fabricated, deadly or funny. In light of this identification, I pose three separate questions to our candidates for UC President and Vice President about controversial Facebook groups that they happen to be members of. (more in expanded post)

Grimeland/Hadfield: Every year there is an unspoken though persistent debate on campus about the importance of (or continued need for) cultural and racial student organizations on campus. Some students would like to deny the fact that institutional racism and de facto segregation still exist in society, let alone at this purportedly liberal and enlightened institution. In light of Grimeland's membership in the comical though possibly insensitive Facebook group, "Harvard White Men's Association" how do you plan to bridge the expansive gap between the White men (and women) of Harvard and the more 40 cultural and racial student groups for non-White students at Harvard in a way different from the other tickets when Harvard is now and has always been, in many ways, a White men's association?

Haddock/Riley: Planning social events has not been the UC's strong point recently and the Campus Life Committee has received a significant amount of criticism for its failures in the past year or so. Nevertheless, one of the largest social event failures of the UC was the debacle at Lamont Library in October where the Finale and Felipes food that was so widely advertised was scarce. In light of the fact that, according to the Facebook group "I Survived The Great Lamont Dessert riot of 2005" of which Haddock is a member, you were the "event organizer and culprit-in-chief" of this event, what do you see your ticket doing to uniquely reform (or revolutionize) social event planning at Harvard College through the UC to avoid your mistakes of the past?

Voith/Gadgil: Your ticket's platform has an ambitious plan for giving Harvard College students a direct voice to the UC President and Vice President. Your ticket supposedly supports the voice of the entire student body though Voith's membership in the Facebook group "Bird Watching/Calling
"--essentially a Phoenix S.K. Club Facebook group--shows that you actively participate in an organization that excludes over half of the student body: women. Gadgil's membership in The Seneca does the same. How do you reconcile what appears to be a dilemma for your ticket in this sense, especially in light of your stated interest in bringing a women's center to Harvard--how do you foresee women's relationships with final clubs if this women's center is erected?

Read their answers in the posts below and get in on the discussion!


At 9:16 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Intriguing questions, Chimaobi.

I found it fascinating in the pre-campaign period to observe how the various facebook profiles were changing.

One of the first things to go on Voith's profile was his membership in the Harvard Republican Club. However, he joined the Dewey/Souther HRC campaign group. Because it was a new group and Voith has so many, the group is not visible to those who view his profile, and only those looking at the group membership would see him (i.e., HRC members who would be deciding on endorsements). Voith also joined a number of groups, including "HahvahdPahties.com" and his old FOP group. Plus, he added a "favorite quote" from C.S. Lewis.

Tara changed her picture from her ID to the shot of the three chairs. She gave her previously barebones profile a significant facelift, adding her house and dorm room; expanding her interests; list favorite music, movies, and books; and quoting Churchill.

Magnus wiped his facebook wall. He evidently didn't do a good job of scrubbing objectionable groups, though, since he kept the "White Men's Association."

Annie did change her picture, but kept most of her quirky quotes, wall posts and pictures.

John Haddock actually had the least changes on his facebook profile, probably because he's comfortable with his identity. He kept his picture and didn't have a wall in the first place.

At 12:52 AM, Blogger Jersey Slugger said...


At 1:10 AM, Blogger andrew golis said...

"John Haddock actually had the least changes on his facebook profile, probably because he's comfortable with his identity. He kept his picture and didn't have a wall in the first place."

Wow Ben, that is good staff work ;) Spin, spin, spin around the rosie.

Good research on all of it though!

At 1:21 AM, Blogger Ben said...

Alright, I just spoke with Tom Hadfield and apparently his facebook profile hasn't changed one bit since he's started running. So I'm going to have re-direct the "fewest facebook changes" award to him ;)

See, I'm an equal opportunity spin artist :P

At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:32 AM, Blogger andrew golis said...

Please remember CC's policy on anonymous comments.


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