23 Aug 2014
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Ursinus Dealing with 'Hot or Crazy' Website Fallout

The website rated the 'hotness vs. craziness' of students, using official Ursinus student identification cards.

Ursinus Dealing with 'Hot or Crazy' Website Fallout

 

Ursinus students and administrators are dealing with a link sent to students on Nov. 7, asking them to rate their fellow students based on a randomized voting function using Ursinus College identification cards.

" HowIMetUrsinus," which has since been removed from Zymic's hosting, asked users to vote on the "craziness/hotness" of students, provided a graph to compare the two, and allowed the search of students' ratings by name.

"I personally monitored the site for a few hours after I was forwarded the link by a friend," said Jen Davis, a LGBTQA Connection Associate. "It didn't seem to have much activity…however, by the second hour, the graph began to grow and shift. By the third, the graph had exploded."

Many students responded to the website with a #HowIMetUrsinus hashtag on twitter.

"One of those sites guys laugh about but girls lose sleep over lol," said one site user.

"Some people at this school really need to learn how to use a tooth brush and comb," said another.

"I hope nobody was offended by #HowIMetUrsinus," said another user, "As insentivive as it was the results were so inaccurate but you're ALL BEAUTIFUL (& CRAZY)."

Other students, and many faculty and administrators, were less amused.

"I have become extremely disappointed with the Ursinus College campus," one student said on Facebook. "In the last few weeks, I've been disgusted by the lack of tolerance at this school ... I came to this school to open my mind and GROW as an individual. Instead I feel like I'm stuck in a rut of frustration and inability to create change on a campus of children.

"On an individual level, I could not care less about this ridiculous and juvenile thing," Davis said. "But such a public display of thoughtless and unwarranted judgement has the potential to negatively affect so many others that I am simply disgusted - disgusted by the person who created this and certainly disgusted by the student body for participating."

The campus responded quickly to the discover of the website - it was initially blocked from Ursinus servers, and the site was taken down less than two days after it went up.

“We are involved in a thorough investigation with the possibility of judicial proceedings,” Ursinus College Dean of Students Debbie Nolan said in an e-mail to students.

UC Peer Advocates, Ursinus Student Government Association, To Write Love on Her Arms, and the Fighting for Ophelia Group held a meeting on Nov. 9 to discuss the issue.

Ursinus President Bobby Fong released a statement to students on the issue on Nov. 12.

"Students and alumni were outraged by the lack of respect evinced in the website," Fong said. "Information Technology worked to have the site taken down by Thursday morning, and the offending student who originated the website has been identified for adjudication."

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