| 03.21.2018

Students share online secrets — ‘U of I Confessions’ page reaches more than 1,300 likes


When Jessica Dettmann created the Facebook page “U of I Confessions,” she hoped the page would serve as a safe place for people to get things off their chest.
“I created the page so that people in college could have somewhere to get things off their chest — say what they want to say and not be judged or even get some good advice,” said Dettmann, a North Idaho College student.
She said she feels a lot of people struggle with speaking their mind because they are afraid of being judged for whatever it may be.
The purpose of U of I Confessions, other than being a place to share fun stories, was to help people with any issues they might struggle with, she said.
“That’s why I refrain from putting anything negative on
the page,” Dettman said.  “Even if someone puts a negative comment on one of the posts I delete it because that’s not what we are about.”
No one asked Dettmann personally to take down the page.
“I just heard that the administration was talking about it at a meeting and they want all of the confessions pages to be taken down. I know they can’t make me and I haven’t taken it down yet,” she said. “I may be changing the name. I may make it a page for all universities to write confessions, not just UI.”
If people can keep their comments clean, Dettmann said this would be a great resource for all college students to have access to.
“People need an outlet to get things off their chest and I think this is a way for them to do so. I just want to make sure my intention for this page is understood,” Dettman said.
With more than 1,300 likes, the U of I Confessions page continues to be used as a place to confess things students might never say aloud.
Shaakira Sanders, associate professor of law at UI, said one thing about the law is that it’s never black and white.
While she does not currently see an issue with the U of I Confessions page, she said it might be in Dettmann’s best interest to change the name of the page to a more general title such as “Idaho Confessions.”
“I can’t speak for the university — all I can say is my thoughts on what some of the legal issues could be. There is an idea of a speech issue here,” she said. “Speech is not an absolute concept like most things in the law. And there are basic rules that could limit one’s speech.”
Sanders said the biggest concern in this situation is probably whether or not the title of the page could somehow be misinterpreted as an affiliation with UI.
Sanders said since no one has approached the page administrators at this point, it’s a non-issue.
“It seems like something any member of Facebook could join or like,” she said. “It doesn’t appear to have any requirement that you have to be a student or anything.”
If the name is changed, the page will give the appearance that it is not affiliated with a particular institution, Sanders said.
Molly Spencer can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu

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