By Jonathan Smith, Managing Editor
The myACU forums have been temporarily disabled while the Web Integration and Programming Team consults with the Campus Life Office about user misconduct.
The forums, a new feature added when myACU was upgraded this summer, were shut down Friday and remain closed at press time because two users posted inappropriate responses, said Wayne Barnard, dean of Campus Life.
“One had to do with vulgar, profane and inappropriate language,” Barnard said. “The other situation had to do with talking about another person in an open forum rather than appropriately having this conversation in private.”
James Langford, director of Web Integration and Programming, said the posts occurred in a topic where students were discussing who was better at a computer game. He said the users were reported to Barnard on Friday and the forums were shut down because there was no way to individually handle the problem.
“The forums don’t yet have a fine-grained control for us to temporarily lock out some users and leave others the ability to post,” Langford said. “We put the forums in place without controls, such as having moderators for different topics, believing that the level of maturity of our students was such that it wouldn’t be a problem. For the vast majority of messages posted, no controls were needed.”
Langford said that if the team had been able to block certain individuals, it would have left the forums operational.
Barnard said he thinks having that control would help with problems.
“Anyone can take something that is inherently good and use it in ways that are less than good,” Barnard said. “We need some assurance that people are protected and respondents are appropriate.”
Gaining the control will not be simple, Langford said. When upgrading myACU, the authentication system that verifies usernames and passwords, was reworked so users could log in just once and still have access to most all myACU functions. The move reduced the amount of control administrators had over the forums. Langford said the team is still working to regain those controls.
Barnard said he hopes the students see their mistakes and correct them.
“People will make mistakes,” Barnard said. “What is important is how people respond to making right their mistakes.”