The forum has been a valuable tool for New College students to communicate with one another for years. The forum is extremely useful for students looking for help with projects, buying or selling second hand clothes and furniture, organizing small events such as game nights and engaging in discussions on a wide range of topics. Additionally, it’s also a convenient and effective method of organizing the student body for protests, as the red flag protest and movements like it were created and organized through the forum. The forum also serves as a platform for students to voice complaints that might not otherwise be heard. While the forum is devoid of faculty influence, such a large platform requires moderation to maintain a healthy and safe environment for its users. As with any large online community, drama and gossip can run rampant, and this is where the role of the forum moderator comes in—a job that has been filled by thesis student Adrienne Hill.
Hill’s responsibilities as a forum mod—since she was elected in the fall 2020 New College Student Alliance (NCSA) elections—include allowing students into the forum once they request access, approving emails going out to the students list, locking threads when necessary and banning forum members who are not following the forum guidelines. While most of the time her job pertains to giving students forum access and approving emails to the students list, the latter half of her job is extremely important for maintaining a healthy environment for discourse on the forum. While most of the decision to lock a thread is based on whether bullying is occurring or violent statements are being made, Hill has locked threads upon request from students.
“Usually if three or more students ask me to lock a thread, then I will lock it,” Hill said.
Hill stated that she strives to maintain a safe and respectful environment for students.
“I want to make the forum a nice place where people aren’t attacking each other,” Hill said. “I want to promote calmness on the forum.”
This sense that the forum is used for students to attack each other is, according to Hill, unlike the forum’s new environment and culture. She believed that in previous years, the forum was more “cut throat” with students calling one another out and discussions were less respectful than they are currently.
This shift to a calmer environment is one Hill is very happy about, and she said that believes much of it is due to incoming first year students not knowing what the forum was once like. In an effort to maintain this environment, Hill has requested that anyone who would like to give feedback to email her, whether that be questions about the forum or possible changes to the guidelines.