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F E ATU RE S
Facebook Guilford College
Confessions page lays it
all on the table
AS THE CONFESSIONS PAGE EXPANDS,
QUESTIONS ARISE ABOUT ITS BENEFITS
BY LANE MARTIN
" Staff WiuTER
Between classes, homework and other important collegiate
business, students can sometimes eke out a moment of
downtime. What they choose to do with it can range from
enjoying nature to perusing one's favorite Facebook page. One
pair of students used this time to create and update Guilford
Guilford College Confessions is a Facebook page that
provides a forum for people to comment on the goings on at
Guilford anonymously. Topics discussed on the page are diverse
from privilege in one post to a student's secret love in another.
Due to the page's anonymous nature, the administrators
wished to remain unnamed.
^ "We really just started the page out of boredom," said
Admin 2. "We were just hanging out, with nothing to do, and
Admin 1 was like, 'Wait. We should start a confessions page for
Students submit confessions to an online survey that reports
them to the admins.
"The SurveyMonkey survey is totally anonymous," said one
of the two admins. "There is actually no way that you can save
personal information about the responders."
The anonymity of the page can be attractive to would-be
confessors, but it can be a double-edged sword.
"(The anonymity) allows people to feel comfortable saying
things that they wouldn't necessarily say if their name was
tied to it," continued the admin. "It's awesome when someone
gets the confidence to confess a crush on the page because it is
anonymous, but we also have problems when people say nasty
things because it is anonymous, and they don't have to take any
real responsibility for their words."
Since its birth in March 2013, the page has accumulated
over 600 likes and is a popular subject of discussion. Often,
confessions will be comical. Other times, posts will have a more
"When I was abroad, I pooped in my pants," said one
Apart from its entertainment value or the possible emotional
relief, there is an even more practical benefit that Guilford
College Confessions may provide.
"First-years do not really understand what Guilford is," said
first-year Conor Sastre, a follower and contributor to the page.
"They have not been here that long, no one has talked to them,
and they just do not have the best idea about what Guilford
really is. If you go to a place like Guilford Confessions, then
it will help to inform-you on a more student-to-student level
about what actually happens here."
"It seems apparent that Guilford College Confessions meets
some need for students to speak their mind without fear of
judgment," said regular commenter Assistant Academic Dean
for Career Development and Community Learning Alan
Mueller. 'This should be a sign to those of us who work on this
campus to be ever more intentional about creating inclusive and
The page is open for everyone to see, regardless of one's
affiliation with Guilford. Its followers are students, alumni and
faculty members. However, this begs a very important question.
Is there a place for faculty members on a page that is mostly
concerned with the personal lives of students?
"College differs from high school in that this is the beginning
of students' time as young adults," said Mueller. "I believe that
Guilford is a community and that faculty and staff participation
in public conversations with students can be very positive."
The page continues to grow and gain new members, and
much of Guilford is watching. So, keep it smart, keep it quirky,
keep it sweet, keep it weird but most of all, keep confessing.
.lUl, ..t;‘ -jja i i
TEDx: fresh perspectives, ideas
Continued From Page I
relations and programs. "It is so important to be
imaginative and to un-limit yourself, but the power
comes in when you share those dreams."
The TEDxGreensboro website talks about the theme
"Dreamsboro" as what we can envision for the future of
"Is it a dty of the future because of creative
entrepreneurship and aeronautics, logistics, nano
sciences, arts and music, technology, advanced
manufacturing, design, health, education — and other
fields we may not even know about yet?" asks the site.
"Or, is it something else? What can be imagined?"
Another component of TEDxGreensboro came
in cormection with Winston-Salem's Imagination
"Everyone who viewed TEDxGreensboro was
encouraged to write a statement 'Imagine when ...'" said
According to the Imagination Installation website, the
project shares these statements through interactive art
exhibits and social media.
Although TEDxGreensboro focused on the wider
Greensboro and Piedmont Triad region, Manson finds it
important to inspect the Guilford community in a similar
"I think the time is so ripe for our community to start
dreaming about the future of the college and who we
want to be ... and what we want to do as an institution,"
Each of the speakers delivered short talks, around
15 minutes long, on topics ranging from post-college
transitions to songwriting,
Troy McConnell, an entrepreneur, explained the most
important steps to take as an entrepreneur: act, ask, and
A few minutes later, artist and curator George Scheer
explained how his living museum "Elsewhere" allows
people — sometimes complete strangers — to "come into
this space ... and feel at home."
"They tied together in really different ways," said
Kim Yarbray, project and communication manager of the
Center for Principled Problem Solving. "There were all
kinds of people speaking: artists, business people, young
professionals, educators. You could really tell that they
were thinking about the theme through their own lens."
Bringing different perspectives and fresh ideas is what
TED is all about.
TED began as a conference uniting its three components
of technology, entertainment and design under the theme
"ideas worth spreading."
The non-profit has now grown to include TEDx, TED
Open Translation Project, two TED conferences each year
and other programs.
"I love the TED talks, and I also think that Guilford
talks about community all the time," said Manson. "We
are all talking so much now about how we fit into the
triad community, and this was an obvious connection."
The Office of Alumni Relations plans to go further with
the idea of TED at Guilford.
"I would love to see Guilford host a locally organized
TED event at some point in the future," said Manson.
"We have a lot of people who could do a wonderful
Looking even further, Manson hopes to use the model
that TED follows to reach out to alumni.
"I think it would be so cool to have locally organized
QUAKEx events where maybe three people from (a
regional alumni chapter) could give 10-12 minute talks
for other alums," said Manson.
"We could record it, and then they could have a party.
That way, we could start to hear from each other."
Keep on the lookout for future TEDx (or QUAKEx)
events at Guilford. _
You never know what new ideas you may encounter.