Sewanee’s obsession with anonymity

by Maggie Stanford

Have you had sex in every classroom in Walsh-Ellet? Smoked pot in the Gorgas basement? Do you have a secret crush on the cute freshman in your religion class? Well if you fall into one of these categories, and feel the need to tell everyone about it, but want to stay anonymous, Sewanee Confessions is the right page for you.

Jumping on the bandwagon of many other universities, some Sewanee students, who have chosen to remain anonymous, decided to create a page for The University of the South.

The page took off immediately with posts about Spring Party antics, questionable sexual activities, and the deep dark secrets that plague our student body. However, posts quickly became malicious and directed at specific people. This is when administration like Dean Eric Hartman starting taking notice.

“In my opinion, Sewanee Confessions could be a good place for people to anonymously talk about their feelings, but problems arise when free speech is given without any of the restraint that comes with attaching your name to your opinions,” said Dean Hartman.

Many students and other members of the Sewanee community became concerned about what was being said on the page, saying that it reflected poorly on our student body. One student said, “I think it makes all Sewanee students look like 12 year-olds confessing their crushes and that they’re coke heads and alcohol dependents. It looks incredibly bad to incoming students, their families, and anyone who is looking to hire someone from Sewanee.”

Most people found the page funny and a good way to talk about what was on their mind. Sewanee Confessions creators explained that they got around 60 submissions per day, five of which they would not post because they included hurtful things about other students and out of the remaining 55, about 25 tended to be very personal and emotional confessions, 20 were complimentary to other students, and the last ten would be funny, possibly made up, stories.

After about a week the creators of Sewanee Confessions got tired of running the page and decided to stop posting. So, while it was short lived and whether you liked it or not, Sewanee Confessions provided the campus with a way to vent, lie, compliment, or joke around with complete anonymity.