Tuesday, 10 February 2009

The Facebook Debate

Facebook has taken over the world. Surely this is just stating the obvious?

Now though the social networking site is causing a furore on campus at Bournemouth University after an official motion for a blanket campus ban is set for discussion at the latest Union General Meeting.

The debate is likely to be a fierce one, after all, this is the site that provides the staple diet of student's daily lives.

I for one, think this could be the ideal opportunity to rid Facebook from the campus for good as its largely counter productive for being available.

At the end of the day, we've all been there. With a few hours in hand between lectures, you need to find a computer to work on an essay or tackle some group work.

The likelihood is that you'll be unsuccessful in finding one available, especially in the peak hours from 10am-2pm.

Most people put this down to the lack of PC's on campus as a whole. A valid point. But what is even more frustrating is the sheer volume of students that aren't even doing work, but updating their status or messing around looking at drunken photos from the previous night.

If you ban this possibility altogether then this would surely put off people from dossing around and actually encourage them to do some work! Goodness forbid. Its not as if we're University students or anything...

The problem is also in classrooms of course. I can recall numerous occassions when a workshop in a computer room has had to be halted because a lecturer has had to tell people to exit the site.

Despite this though, a blanket ban is not the right way forward. Manchester University may have gone down this route, but Bournemouth shouldn't follow suit.

There are students who don't have Internet access at home and solely rely upon the use of the Internet on campus. It wouldn't be right to remove this access.

What Bournemouth should do is have dedicated Facebook computers. How about banning it from the library (a place of work after all?) and making it solely available in the Open Access Centre?

Or how about banning it from classrooms (where the problem persists) and keeping it available everywhere else?

Its a complicated issue, and one that is sure to reach boiling point when the UGM on Thursday comes around.