Facebook has always championed interpersonal communication and an open web community.
Therefore, the university should adopt a similar spirit when regulating professor-student relationships on the site. There should be no official policy barring professors to add students as “friends” or vice versa as the college experience is about the passage to adulthood with the requisite responsibilities and freedoms attached.
Faculty and staff should be cautious when adding current students as “friends” before a final grade is submitted to prevent any bias from occurring. Other than that, faculty members and students should be able to maintain professional relationships that may lead to a more familiar relationship upon graduation 8212; simply because they stayed in touch with Facebook.
As long as the propriety and decency that is expected in face-to-face interaction is upheld during online interaction, Facebook should be allowed to become yet another medium that encourages academic tutelage and enlightenment.
While the university should not enforce a strict “zero-tolerance” policy with regard to faculty-student Facebook interaction, every participant in the online community should be expected to continually uphold the TCU Code of Conduct.
Web editor Jason Pan for the editorial board.