April 23, 2008: On the Campus
PU 08544: Online, on TV
By Alice Lloyd George ’09
“C’mon. Give us juice,” reads the homepage of juicycampus.com, a Web site that has been stirring up the campus ever since it expanded in January to include Princeton.
Founded by Duke graduate Matt Ivester in August 2007, the site provides forums for anonymous, uncensored gossip at more than 50 colleges. For those students whose names have come up, the results are usually mean-spirited, humiliating, and often false.
Princeton’s JuicyCampus Web site is viewed more than that of any other Ivy League school besides Cornell, with discussions centering around Greek affiliations, eating clubs, and sexual exploits. The most-discussed topics include “Bicker surprises” and “Sluttiest girl,” and homophobic and racist comments are particularly rife.
In mid-March, the New Jersey attorney general’s office subpoenaed Juicy Campus’ records, stating that while the site claims to ban offensive material, it does not allow the subjects of its gossip to contest what has been published about them, and is therefore in violation of the Consumer Fraud Act.
Some Princeton students called for a boycott of the site, while others posted passages from Dostoevsky, the Constitution, and War and Peace in an attempt to overwhelm the site’s servers.
“Please don’t assume that the comments here represent the thoughts of the majority of Princeton students,” wrote one unnamed student. “Many of us view this site as a form of entertainment in the early hours of the morning while we try to stay awake and study.”
The Web site spurred a free-speech debate on campus, with some students urging the administration to ban access to the site from campus computers. University spokeswoman Cass Cliatt ’96 and Thomas Dunne, associate dean of undergraduate students, said that in order to avoid a “slippery slope,” the University’s policy is not to prohibit access to Web sites based on content unless criminal enterprises or acts could be involved.
However, in a March 31 e-mail, Dunne announced that students and administrators had created a Web-based petition against anonymous attacks and “to rally the majority who do believe that these types of attacks are cowardly and have no place at our school.”
The online petition, www.ownwhatyouthink.com, said that posting malicious gossip on the Web, tearing down posters on campus because of the viewpoints expressed by the sponsoring organization, and writing derogatory messages in common areas were “particularly detrimental to respectful and open dialogue.” More than 650 people signed their names to the petition in less than a week.
By Julia Osellame ’09
Frat parties, dirty laundry, and long-distance relationships. Can’t get enough of college life? A new sitcom airing on the Princeton Student Television Network promises to fill that void.
Sophomores Jeremy Kent, Kut Akdogan, and Michael Bachand, a math major and two engineers, escape from equations and delve into the world of film as they work as the writers, producers, directors, and editors of their television show, Campus.
The sitcom, filmed entirely on the Princeton campus, follows the life of Noah, played by Sam Borchard ’10, as he deals with his roommate’s frat-boy friend Paul, Tyler Crosby ’09, and their female love interests. In the first episode, titled “Extravaganza,” Noah returns from fall break to the remnants of a raucous party held in his room — Paul is asleep in Noah’s bed, his roommate Bill is in the hospital, and cups and various partygoers lie strewn on the common-room floor.
As scriptwriters, Kent, Akdogan, and Bachand say they have edited out their personal experiences so that the comedy will have a broader college appeal.
Balancing the sitcom’s production and their own academic work has been a struggle, the three agreed.
“For our final stretch of editing, I worked for 100 hours straight with, like, four hours of sleep,” Kent said. “Class was out of the question for those four days,” Akdogan added.
The series creators gave much credit to the actors, who brought levity to the scenes with improvisation and creativity. “Some of the best things happened on the spot,” said Bachand.
The three friends, each of whom has been interested in film since high school, envision Campus continuing in the future. Episode two is being filmed, and a third has been outlined.