If you don't get the reference in the title, just read on.
Throughout my time at GW, I have learned to ignore the more foolish aspects of the school, like those people who fly home on the weekends even though home is only 2 hours away, or the girl who chastises her dad for writing her a paper that was too long. It's the stuff of Overheard at GW. It mostly comes from the people who sport Gucci bags, Uggs, and the typical bug-eye pair of sunglasses. And even if their éclat makes Anna Wintour look like just an amateur queen bee, it is mostly harmless.
But I could not ignore JuicyCampus, the subject of James' recent entry. I won't link to it to directly, because I do not intend to drive traffic there. Suffice it to say that JuicyCampus is where college students go to dish the dirt, however crude and defamatory, on their peers. As James noted, it is completely anonymous. The site features many schools across the country, but I think that it is (sadly) well suited for GW.
As one of my friends astutely observed, reading GW’s page is like reading the script of Mean Girls. Except that instead of North Shore High School, now it's Foggy Bottom. What JuicyCampus has effectively done for GW students is enable them to express their true selves - their true, exceptionally soulless selves.
You come to this school under the penumbra of an ingeniously crafted, lofty, almost decadent event – Colonial Inauguration - that appeals to your taste, and your pocketbook. If you enroll, you notice very quickly that you are immersed in this fantastic nirvana of a gorgeously spartan city. It's almost dreamlike - almost.
But in reality it is a Faustian bargain. What really happens is that you forfeit large sums of money to receive a decently good education alongside a student body composed of people who, for the most part, have no class. You make this painful discovery when you find they have dragged your name and the names of your dear friends through the mud.
The people that do this may occupy positions of power, or may be entrusted with your residential well-being. They are around you, even if they reveal their opinions only behind the trustworthy veil of anonymity that JuicyCampus' virtual-reality bitchfest provides.
I will be criticized for characterizing my peers like this. This is a given. What I'm saying is self-evident regardless. I was personally victimized on the message boards of this website and my friends were labeled ugly whores. I, as they, have a reason to be pissed off.
I speak for all of us when I say that it's nothing short of reprehensible that students at a major university who pursue degrees of higher education do this. You are at liberty to think whatever you please, but publishing it is another matter, and in that area you most clearly do not have the liberty to do whatever you please. You have no right to publish patently libelous content because you have nothing better to do. You have no shame.
JuicyCampus doesn't only defame its victims. It also undermines the schools featured on the site. After seeing discussion threads on topics from "who is the biggest tool in the Student Association" to "who is uncircumcised", what is a prospective GW student to opine about us? Besides thinking that we are, in general, an obnoxious coterie of spiteful bitches who prognosticate from a sky-high pied-à-terre (an idea which is apparently true), they may truly believe the accusations that target specific people. This skews their perception of the school even further, and as a result our reputation as a university is slowly muddled away, all because of utter nonsense.
For that reason, and also because it provides a platform to publish untrue, offensive and slanderous statements about real people who have real lives, JuicyCampus should be unequivocally condemned. (Interesting aside: my home state of New Jersey - bless its oil refineries and old-man bars - is suing the creators of JuicyCampus in an attempt to show that the site violates state consumer fraud laws.)
When I went to Colonial Inauguration in July 2007, I was admittedly naïve. Now, 26 months later, I am acutely aware that there is but a scintilla of nicety in the entire 20052 zip code. Saboteurs are many. I have my suspicions as to exactly who mine are. I almost wish I could publish their names here, but I don't, because I have the decency that they so perspicuously lack.
It's amazing, when you think about how puerile it is. Or maybe sadistic is really the word. I guess the rule of thumb is this: give a GW student an anonymous platform, and he/she will abandon the façade of politesse and milk it for all its worth. Especially when the target is other GW students.
My confidence in the student body is low at this point. I don't desire revenge, and I try not to appear bitter, because frankly, I don't care what was said about me. But I do care for my friends, and the abuse they suffered. The bottom line is that no one should have to endure the kind of treatment one gets on JuicyCampus. I urge everyone to boycott it so we can put an end to this madness.