Thursday, February 12, 2009

No friends for Facebook Ban

There was an underwhelming attendance for a Bournemouth Students' Union meeting this morning where a possible ban on Facebook was to be discussed.

Vice President for Communications Adelaide Allen encouraged those attending to use the opportunity to voice their opinions.

"Before we act on it, we want to see if it's an issue which affects a minority or majority," she said.

A group of students were unable to use computers in the library because of the number of people on Facebook.

Some students suggested that up to 60% of computers on campus are being used for social networking, she explained.

"You can see especially now that they've made the bottom floor of the library a social space, whereas last year it was a quiet kind of study area.

Now it's an open plan, people are allowed to talk and eat things. Obviously this encourages social learning which is great and people actually use Facebook as a key communication tool," she added.

Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education Dr Brian Astin suggested that Facebook "will be a major part of the curriculum in the future. At the moment we're just feeling our way."

There was a heated debate between students but no formal policy was adopted. The 54 students attending was considerably less than the 100 required for quorum.

A conservation science student said:

"My opinion is that the library should not have access to Facebook."

However, a female student was less supportive of any proposed ban. She said a sign highlighting priority for scanning at certain computers on campus had worked effectively.

"I've never had problems in the last two years." She suggested that having signs restricting Facebook to certain areas was a sensible solution.

Students who spoke about dissertations and coursework outlined how useful Facebook is for sharing bookmarks, references and other educational resources.

No decision was made on a Facebook ban but the union and management agreed to keep the matter under review.

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