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Thursday, January 24, 2019

The #UVA Class of 2023 Facebook Group (students only)

I've had a hands-off approach to Facebook over the years, except when I see companies trying to be part of groups that should be left to students. It seems it's happening again. Thanks to some students on Reddit, I found out that an adult created dozens (hundreds?) of Facebook groups and GroupMe chats for applicants to colleges all over the country. Regardless of why an adult is doing this, I don't like it and want to share a new group with you.


Here's a link to a students-only Facebook group for the Class of 2023:


https://www.facebook.com/groups/241585222847067/
Click the logo to go to the Class of 2023 Facebook group!

 

Who Is in the Facebook Group?

Obviously, the group will be for students who hope they'll be members of the Class of 2023 at this point. Membership will evolve in the next few months as students make their college choices. After decisions come out, the students in these groups often create questionnaires to facilitate roommate matches. I'm told that the questionnaires the students create are more detailed than any being used by a housing office or roommate matching service. Student self-governance works again!

Who Is Moderating the Facebook Group?

There are a few current UVA students who keep an eye on the group. They are not paid to promote a business or product. They are students who know the ins and outs of UVA and have offered to field questions without an agenda. You'll notice that we don't really sell UVA. We present UVA to you and let you decide if the University has the things you need to be happy and challenged. Their answers to your questions will be honest and straightforward. I am not in the group.

What Happens to the Group in the Future?


When your class elects officers, the admins will hand the group over to your chosen leaders. This has been happening for about a decade and it works pretty well. For now, the admins are fine with answering questions, but they usually sit back and let you chat.  Nothing in these groups will be saved or connected to your applications.

Is Facebook Activity Used for Admission Purposes?

Nope. I have absolutely no interest in tracking you or looking at your profiles. 

Can Parents Join?

No. Every so often, I hear about a parent requesting to join the student group. Please let the students have their space to talk.

Why Does UVA Create the Group?

We didn't always create a Facebook group for the classes. I used to talk about how it was the students' domain (it was back when you had to have a .edu email address to get an account!) and groups should grow organically. I changed my mind in 2008 when a company started creating groups with school names on them. Content in the group we created won't include advertisements from third parties and your information won't be mined.

What About GroupMe?

 I fully support students using whatever channels they feel are most helpful. I am letting the admins of the class group decide whether they also want to set up a new GroupMe and keep an eye on it. They're UVA students, so I want to be respectful of their time.

Please just keep an eye on the admin/mod of groups you join and don't share too much information in groups that may include companies looking for data.

Remember that anyone can slap the word "official" on a group. That doesn't mean the admin is affiliated with UVA.