Along with the requisite student orientation, newly arriving college students will be getting a stern warning about the risks of Internet postings on social networking sites such as Facebook
, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
Many colleges and universities are incorporating into their routine orientations instruction about proper online behavior. Some, such as Susquehanna University and Washington University in St. Louis, have even gone as far as developing role-playing skits which students watch and then break into smaller groups to discuss.
College administrators are trying to circumvent postings that students later come to regret, fromembarrassing party photos to comments about professors in blogs. This comes after several high-profile incidents of athletes posting hazing photos. An Oklahoma freshman's joke in Facebook about assassinating President Bush prompted a visit from the Secret Service.
"The particular focus is the public nature of this," said Tracy Tyree, Susquehanna's dean of student life. "That seems to be what surprises students most. They think of it as part of their own little world, not a bigger electronic world."