Last week, The Carroll News printed a story about the profile pages of “Dan” and “Danielle Loster.” The “Dan Loster” profile was designed to compare female students to each other in a bracket modeled after the NCAA March Madness tournament.
Since the story’s publication, the students, administration and faculty have all taken time to think about the site and the implications it has for the Carroll community.
Many students were appalled to find out that a page like this is objectifying women on campus in such a manner.
Freshman Brian Botti first found out about the profile from The Carroll News.
“I feel that it was really disrespectful towards women. It materializes them,” said Botti. He has also talked about this with a few of his friends who agree with him. “I know certain people will be idiots, but it still looks bad for the University.”
The administration has also discussed this page. Dean of Students Sherri Crahen has been the primary person dealing with the profiles and the University’s response.
“I talked with IT about this. There’s no way for us as a University to take down the two profiles without taking down the entire site [Facebook],” said Crahen.
However, this site isn’t like CollegeACB, said Crahen, where blocking campus access did not affect students. The administration does not want to block Facebook on the campus server.
Crahen added that since so many students have other ways to access the Internet, through their cell phones or from their homes if they commute, blocking Facebook would be more of an inconvenience than a solution.
Although the administration does not condone this type of Internet use, according to Crahen, the responsibility for dealing with this site falls largely on the students. She said that the best people to address this issue are the female students featured on the page.
“If you look at who is most influential in [students’] lives, it’s their fellow students,” said Crahen. “We need to engage our students in open dialogue about these sites.”
Even before the story was published, several Greek organizations were proactive making sure their members did not associate themselves with this page. According to senior Steve Crea, a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, the page was brought to the attention of the executive board, who decided it was not a good page to be associated with.
“We addressed the chapter at the weekly meeting and asked them not to friend this page,” said Crea. “We were just trying to be proactive.”
Sophomore Spencer German, a member of Beta Theta Pi, said that it wasn’t discussed at any of their chapter meetings because they felt that their members were sensible enough not to get involved in the situation in the first place; but after the article came out, they made it clear to stay away from it.
Delta Tau Delta also addressed the issue with their members. Senior Ken Tubbs was the Interfraternity Council president at the time the page was created.
“We talked about it as a group. In terms of what we think, we’re disgusted by it; it’s very disrespectful,” said Tubbs. “We’ve policed ourselves and made sure none of our guys are associated with it.”
Crahen believes that the best way for students who disagree to address this is by taking an active stand against it.
“Why not create a page against the Loster pages?” she said. “It’s such a poor reflection on John Carroll because it objectifies women. That’s not what John Carroll stands for. We’re a lot better than that.”