Accept or Deny?
Would you friend your teacher on Facebook?
By Nick Christian
With more than 800 million people on Facebook, and with more than 50 percent of Facebook’s users on at any time, the following situation is nearly inevitable.
It’s the end of the night and you’re wasting away time playing angry birds on Facebook. Suddenly a friend request pops up on the screen. Unable to recognize the person at first, you click there profile. After glancing at the page, it suddenly registers in your head.
This is a teacher or student from one of your classes.
CNM doesn’t have a policy regarding social media fraternization between Faculty/Staff and students, according to CNM’s Media and Communications Office, so it makes the question a bit more likely: Would you friend the other on Facebook?
“I wouldn’t do that,” said CNM student Keith Vicente, who stood situated amongst his friends at the smoking area between Max Salazar and the Student Service Center.
The woman sitting beside him, CNM student Hope Cordova said she wouldn’t do it either because she didn’t want her teachers knowing what she is doing. CNM Student Rico Billarreal, , added “They’re like your employers; you don’t want to do that.”
A little further down, close to the CNM cafeteria, CNM student Alejandra Elizalda said that she wouldn’t friend a current professor.
“I’d delete them. I’d block them. It would just be weird. Unless they were no longer my teacher,” said Elizalda.
CNM student Patrick Denetdale, who sat outside the cafeteria, checking his phone on Facebook, said he has friended teachers on Facebook and would be open to doing so in the future.
CNM Student Ana Lucia was sitting in the Max Salazar breezeway area checking her Facebook.
“I actually have an old teacher on here,” said Lucia.
An English teacher she had the previous term would post updates on classes and the assignments due, according to Lucia.
Teachers and staff in the Max Salazar building, among those who were questioned, seemed open to the idea of the interaction.
“If I know them I’d probably friend them, accept the request,” said Computer Lab Supervisor Robert Graff. “If I didn’t like the kind of things they were posting I’d probably unfriend them.”
Other teachers have put in philosophies on the subject.
“I have friended students after the class is over,” full time Instructor Alexandria Cisneros said. “I’ve had requests during the class and I’ve just let them know it’s a little bit of a conflict of interest.”
Part time Instructor Rodney Ulibarri said it doesn’t bug him.
“I only tell them I cannot discuss school related stuff on here due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Also, I only post pictures of class fieldtrips and comic related stuff, so really nothing personal about me other than holidays and birthdays. I find it is a good way of keeping in contact. Also, if a student really wants to know about me, the same danger exists via Google search.”
Some staff members said they are against committing to the electronic friendship. Director of Student Life and Discipline Kristofer Gaussoin said he doesn’t accept friend requests from students or co-workers so the professional line isn’t blurred. Student Activities Coordinator Brandon Seber said he doesn’t have a Facebook; and Dean of Students Rudy Garcia said, due to the nature of his job, he lives completely off grid.