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Life@Lane student blog

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Lane Community College Eugene Oregon Student Blogs
Life@Lane is a “student moderated blog” at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon. I happened to stumble upon the site while checking out some summer classes at LCC. The blog is prominently advertised on the Lane Community College homepage.

I scrolled down through several posts and was intrigued by a post titled “Would The World Be Better With Women As Leaders?” The post basically says that women are emotional and therefore are not capable of being leaders. Jeffrey, the writer of the post and student at Lane, states in a response to a comment that “i don’t think my gender is superior i just don’t think women would be a good world leader.” Unbelievable. How can Lane Community College support this blog? How can Lane Community College stand behind this overtly sexist post/comment?

Here is the initial blurb about the blog via the LCC Marketing and Public Relations Office:

Life at Lane Student Blog

LIFE@LANE, A STUDENT MODERATED BLOG, launched from Lane’s homepage. Topics are generated by Lane’s Student Service Associates. Student blogs are common at four-year institutions. Lane is among the first community colleges to host a student blog. The purpose is to provide a communication tool primarily for current and prospective students and to increase “community” access.

How in the hell does this blog “increase ‘community’ access”? Student blogs are a common method of providing student insights into the student experience at a college/university. Student blogs are supposed to build community. They are not supposed to perpetuate stereotypes. It seems that Jeffrey, the student blogger at Lane, wanted to generate controversy and not build community. Marketing and Public Relations officials at Lane Community College should post an apology on the Life @ Lane blog, fire Jeffrey, and start moderating the commentary of the Life@Lane blog. I highly doubt that this is how they want life at Lane Community College to be represented.

  • http://rhetoricalwasteland.blogspot.com Dennis

    3….2…..1…. FinanceBuzz!

  • http://doteduguru.com/ Kyle James

    Contriversy drives people to the website. If you want to build a community you have to get people to come and read something. I’m not saying that he’s right or wrong, but having a student a blog the school needs to support a student in his decision to write what he wants and not censor. If they sensor then how does that look to prospective students? Why is a student going to want to go to a school that tells them what they can and can’t say? People can easily weigh in their opinions by making comments on the blog and the discussion can then continue. Discussion is GOOD! Discussion is what community is all about. If we continue to just tell people you can’t say this or that because people don’t want to hear it then that’s censorship and what does that accomplish?

    It’s not unusual for controversy to be created for the community to actually rally and build.

    Boy I’m glad you have the nice little notify me of follow-ups cause I’m sure someone will disagree and that’s their right. While I’m at it I wrote a post about Joining the conversation or staying at a distance a little while ago on my blog. It is loosely relevant to this discussion.

  • http://doteduguru.com/ Kyle James

    Boy did I have some misspellings in that post. Guess I should proofread better before hitting submit…

  • http://ericstoller.com/blog/ Eric Stoller

    @Dennis – Thanks for such a stimulating comment…

    @Kyle – Seriously, we need to work on spelling ;-)

    Jeffrey the author of the post followed up his sexist post with another blatantly sexist comment:

    i don’t think my gender is superior i just don’t think women would be a good world leader.

    What if Jeffrey’s post had been about people of color, people with disabilities, and/or members of the lgbt community?

    For example, what if he had said “I don’t think my race is superior, I just don’t think people of color would be good world leaders.”?

    He is generating controversy for sure, but I disagree that “to build a community you have to get people to come and read something.” A student-run blog should provide insight into the student experience at a college. Jeffrey is promoting sexist thought and Lane is providing Jeffrey with a platform to spread it. Jeffrey is not building community. I feel that Lane should have provided the community with bloggers who were going to create community instead of denigrating its members.

    I agree that censorship is a bad thing. I too prefer discourse, but the goal of a student-run blog that is sponsored by a university/college is not to spew anything that is on the mind of a student blogger, especially overt bigotry. Why would anyone attend Lane Community College after reading this post?

    Jeffrey seems to be too immature to be one of two student-moderators on the Life at Lane blog. There are plenty of student-run blogs that do a great job of sharing the student experience. Jeffrey seems to only care about getting people to visit the site. Jeffrey is free to state his opinions, but I highly doubt that the PR folks at Lane Community College are excited that he is promoting sexist/discriminatory views from the LCC sponsored pulpit.

    “I’m not saying that he’s right or wrong, but having a student a blog the school needs to support a student in his decision to write what he wants and not censor. If they sensor then how does that look to prospective students?”

    Why aren’t you saying that he’s right or wrong? I know you have an opinion…

    I think it looks pretty shitty to prospective students that Lane is allowing one of their bloggers to perpetuate sexist stereotypes.

    Thanks for commenting Kyle.

  • Jeffrey

    Thank you for the following comments on the computer subject. not a lot of people really care about the tech questions i try to feed through that blog. and really appreciated the input. As for this page i take no offense from it and am glad i can inspire further conversations on other peoples blogs. So keep on blogging.

  • Britt Q.

    Did you happen to see OSU’s Center for Writing and Learning’s blog? It is updated by CWL staff and paraprofessional student advisors (I think…? There doesn’t appear to be any information about why it exists…) – if you go through some of the archives, you’ll find a lot of questionable content in terms of what the staff says about the students they work with. After a complaint was filed, the director of the center removed some of the more (I would say) inappropriate posts, but there are still a few that I still think should not be posted. If I waere a student and I knew advisors and student services staff members were writing about our appointments or interactions on a public website, I probably would hesitate to use that service…!

    Anyways, it’s really confusing as to what the purpose of page is supposed to be, but I know it is managed by the Center for Writing and Learning…

    Take a gander if you’d like:

    http://cwl.oregonstate.edu/portal/

    ALSO — your doppelganger was my tour guide through the Highlands and the Isle of Skye this weekend! He looked eerily like you, just in a kilt and a little less groomed! (Sorry to say it – I get annoyed when people tell me shit like that – “Oh, I met your twin yesterday!” – I mean, what are you supposed to say in return to that? Instant conversation killer.)

  • http://ericstoller.com/blog/ Eric Stoller

    I wonder what Mary Spilde, the President of Lane Community College would say to Jeffrey’s claim on a Lane Community College sponsored blog that women would not be good leaders…?

  • Jeffrey

    I don’t know maybe you should ask her.

  • http://ericstoller.com/blog/ Eric Stoller

    @Jeffrey – either you’re being extremely arrogant or you have been given free rein to say whatever you want on the Life @ Lane blog. Either way is problematic. An arrogant sexist blogger who represents a community college and/or a community college that supports said person cannot be in my opinion a good thing.

    I highly doubt that your status as a Lane Community College student blogger will remain in effect once the PR department is informed of your behavior.

    Ciao.

    PS: In case anyone is wondering, I have nothing against student-run blogs. In fact, I positively adore the MIT Admissions blog

  • Samuel Wallace

    Maybe he just knows how to get people sparked up about something. If you’ve ever done any debating you know that you need to be able to argue the less popular side just as well as the popular one. Could it possibly have been something similar as Kyle James suggested? I find it funny you call him a sexist and immediately label him negativity based on the one article. Did you bother to read anything other then that one single one? Also as far as him losing “status as a (lcc) student blogger” because of it, way to show what a nazi you really are. Lets also fire any newspaper reporter who chooses to go against the status quo. In fact lets ban all speech that Eric here doesn’t approve of. It’s so apparent he’s got it 100% right when it comes to morals and all. Also that article is weeks old now and surprize he’s still working there! AND posting regularly. Do you honestly believe that the work on the site isn’t moderated? That he doesn’t have superiors who would do something about it if it was even an issue. Maybe they appreciated it for what it was. A blog designed to get people to talk and share viewpoints. While the topic may have gotten close to a line that has been drawn by Eric, it did precisely that. It’s so ironic that you are using HIS work for the same purpose, to spur controversy and try to boost visitors/dissuasion on your blog. Just think if it weren’t for this “sexist arrogant” student, you wouldn’t have people here on your blog either.

  • http://kerplow.com Reid Parham

    My easiest response to questions during the editorial process about content appropriateness: “is it in good taste?”

    This one? Not at all. Delete—problem solved.

  • http://doteduguru.com/ Kyle James

    Samuel you do bring up some good points. The one that stands out is the fact the post is weeks old and has survived the test of time.

    Eric to address your direct question about my opinion when I made that comment I hadn’t read the blog post. Now I have and the comments and I’m even less concerned. Jeffrey even admitted:

    “I am not a big politic person personally. really, I was always one that wouldn’t state his or her opinion because i was so mis informed about things I would just come off as a dick. so i never talked about politics or just avoid them all together. but with with this presidential race we actually have a candidate that is a women. or one that i actually am paying attention to. sorry to say.”

    And later in the comments

    “i would like to also add if i have offended anyone from this weeks post, i didn’t mean to.”

    I don’t see anything as horrible as you make it out to be. We have student bloggers who have written things more controversial or idiotic that I’ve questioned bigger than this. If anything I’m glad that Jeffrey actually has gotten to the point that he cares enough to express his opinion. I think Jeffrey (sorry buddy, but it’s true) is a little green and has some reality world experiences to live through, but he’s definitely getting there and working through his thoughts in an open forum. Something that is actually rather brave because he’s opening himself up for scrutiny.

  • http://schoolinginequality.blogspot Julie

    There is little recognition within many of these comments as to the ubiquitous inequity of and assault on women within the United States.

    For example, the U.S. State Department itself offers a lengthy explanation and rationalization for the lack of equal rights accessible to women in the United States. And as an example of women’s ongoing awareness of threats of violence to her sex,the United Nation’s offers statistics which note; “In the United States, national statistics indicate that a women is raped every six minutes.”

    So to me this is not simply a helpful exercise in “provoking” web traffic through sparking controversy. As Eric pointed out early on in this discussion, this type of ‘snarky’ commenting is in fact aggressively deployed from the power position. I would agree that this is not the time to employ the liberal notion of one idea is equal to another.

    To respond as if all ideas are entitled to equal air, is to pretend that some ideas are not serving systemic violence and oppression toward women, people of color, people with disabilities etc. These oppressive statements on a ‘community blog’ bring about the silencing of women (or whomever they are meant to attack) that is so powerful, that it evokes FEAR in members of the attacked group – a fear of posting or of posting their name to their thoughts. This does not sound like community building to me.

  • Samuel Wallace

    Except Jeff’s article had NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY OF THAT. Not once did he suggest that women or worthless slaves that are only here to please men, or anything even closely resembling that. He didn’t advocate abuse nor rape. IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH OPPRESSION AT ALL!!!! It only stated that women don’t make as good of leaders as men. And something I always love to ask people who get all defensive when something like that is said is: If women truly are equal when it comes to ability to rule the world, then whey don’t they? Did at some point the male gender cheat? Did they call upon a magic dragon to make sure that thier gender had the upper hand? No they didn’t. The fact of the matter is men DO rule and run most of the world. If women really were truly equal when it comes to ruling wouldn’t they naturally have a larger share of world power? Now before someone jumps on ME calling me a sexist you have to realize I am in no way trying to say men are better then women at everything and anything, nor am I saying women don’t deserve respect and fair treatment in general workspaces. The main point of my posts is to try to point out the idiocy of taking a what Jeff wrote and treating like he wrote an article entitled “Women are worthless hoes that should only be allowed to cook and submit to a mans will”. As far as invoking fear into women that prevents them from speaking out…. I can’t even begin to describe Julie’s total self contradiction there. In fact I’d bet anything that the topic Jeff chose for that week would have the exact opposite effect. Julie does however make good points about the state of women in the world but it doesn’t change the fact that what Jeff wrote had nothing to do with it.

  • Julie

    You are mistaken in your conclusion that I did not feel fear in putting my name and thoughts into a posting on this topic. I did. The rest of your posting offers ample Illustration for my fear. I suppose it was generous of you to concede my well documents points about the silencing of women following an opening sentence yelling, followed by dismissive accounts of magic dragons and playful nods and winks to violence against women. Now I will leave you alone because you quite honestly and for very concrete reasons frighten me.

  • http://rhetoricalwasteland.blogspot.com Dennis

    Eric, to be honest, you’re coming across as picking on Jeff to me. I know that’s not your intent, but upon reading his post, it becomes clear that he’s not speaking from malice, but ignorance – not that one is less hurtful than the other, but they might ask for slightly different responses. Your response does not seem conducive to creating a teachable moment here =)

  • http://ericstoller.com/blog/ Eric Stoller

    @ Dennis – I think the teachable moment passed us by when none of the other commenters who were men commented directly on the fact that a university-supported forum was used to convey sexist rhetoric against women. Jeffrey can say anything that he wants to. I am not advocating censorship. I am advocating for a bit more scrutiny with regards to the content on a site that is supposed to welcome students to Lane Community College. Like it or not, that blog’s function is to be a web 2.0 pr tool. If Jeffrey’s post and subsequent comment had focused on race instead of gender, I believe that we would not be talking about Jeff’s immaturity or ignorance. We would be talking about how a racist viewpoint was presented on a community college’s sanctioned/sponsored site and we would not allow that viewpoint to be published on a community-building PR vehicle. It’s the content + the vehicle.

    @ Samuel – paging Dr. Godwin

    @ Julie – Thanks for commenting.

  • http://vegankid.solidaritydesign.net vegankid

    um, i’m just going to respond to what samuel said…

    It only stated that women don’t make as good of leaders as men.

    oh, you’re right. that’s no cause for ruffled feathers. massive generalizations that further centuries of dominance and control should, after so many centuries, just be accepted as fact and left to be.

    If women truly are equal when it comes to ability to rule the world, then whey don’t they?

    And something i like to ask people that ask such questions is, where the fuck have you been? seriously. not to mention the numerous female presidents, prime ministers, premiers and others that are in offices around the world, did you never hear of such figures as Cleopatra or Queen Elizabeth? If nothing else, they proved that women can be just as brutal as male rulers.

    If women really were truly equal when it comes to ruling wouldn’t they naturally have a larger share of world power?

    eric, i think you need some “suggested 101 readings” on your site. or maybe just links to other lists out there, cuz obviously some folks assume they can know everything based on personal experience.

    The main point of my posts is to try to point out the idiocy of taking a what Jeff wrote and treating like he wrote an article entitled “Women are worthless hoes that should only be allowed to cook and submit to a mans will”.

    oh, so unless someone is calling women worthless hoes, then they are allowed to make any comments about them that they want and others are not allowed to critique their comments? good idea. how else can we limit dialog and social progress?

  • Missy Cooper

    Was there some type of disclaimer” on the front page or portal of this blog? I’m thinking something like, “the opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the university administration, faculty, staff, or students as a whole?” Censorship makes my blood run cold but I understand the concerns that have been raised here. Let the kid make a fool out of himself, just make sure people know the university isn’t endorsing it as gospel:)

  • http://ericstoller.com/blog/ Eric Stoller

    @Missy - Here’s the disclaimer that is on the Life@Lane blog homepage (it does not appear on individual blog posts):

    All communications on this site are subject to the LCC Student Code of Conduct and the Information Technology Appropriate Use Policy Any views or opinions presented in these blogs are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the college.

    I’m glad that Lane Community College as an educational institution does not necessarily support the sexist writings of its bloggers.

    PS: I loved this comment from vegankid: “And something i like to ask people that ask such questions is, where the fuck have you been?”

    My thoughts exactly.

  • Jeffrey

    Thanks for the advertisement. it doesn’t really matter after this Friday, because the term and the year will be over. But it is good to know this your personal blog, now i have nothing to worry about. as if i did in the first place, but w/e. happy blogging and enjoy your summer.

  • Jeffrey

    correction. school year.

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