A demonstration for lionsmatter.com — a forum to post issues at the College — was presented to the Student Government general body during their meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 19.
The site was created by junior marketing and economics double major Patrick Kelly and junior marketing and IMM double major Michael Young.
“It’s a public platform for students to post comments and concerns about the College,” Kelly said. “We will forward the information to administrators so that they can do something about it, and we can see real results.”
Posts can be up- and down-voted, similar to YouTube videos, to let the College know which posts are most relevant and most important to students. Kelly and Young discussed plans for a moderation system to prevent spam.
“Since you have to sign into your TCNJ account, anything you post will be connected to you,” Young explained. He hopes this will deter students from writing up ludicrous posts.
“I think that the site has great potential for actual improvement of matters on campus,” freshman class council member Derek Carper said. “While the platform of @TCNJPROBLEMS on Twitter provides an output for students’ frustration, it’s not productive in solving the problems presented. So long as the system doesn’t get abused, I believe it has the potential to be a key tool in improving the little things on campus.”
Young believes that Lions Matter is superior to SpeakOut TCNJ — a similar site in the sense that problems can be posted and voted on — because posts are forwarded to administrators, allowing them to respond.
“One incentive we’ve been thinking about to try to encourage administrators to respond to posts is a Leader Board,” Young said. “It will show who is ‘winning’ or in other words, which administrators respond to the highest percentage of posts.
Freshman class council member Ryan Molicki expressed concerns about only checking the website once a week, in case more urgent matters are posted.
On Monday, for example, an anonymous user posted a photo on Lions Matter with the caption, “This is the ceiling of the Norsworthy 2 women’s bathroom. A large plate in the ceiling is slowly collapsing because the actual ceiling is crumbling. The entire plate is being supported by a wooden block on top of a pipe connected to a sprinkler head. This is absolutely ridiculous, and it has been like this for over a week.”
Kelly and Young stressed the importance of knowing when to submit a work order to Res Life instead of posting on Lions Matter.
Magda Manetas, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, fears that the site may get too personal. For example, students could use the site to complain about a professor they don’t get along with.
“That certainly is not the intended purpose of Lions Matter,” Kelly said.
He reiterated that a moderation system is in the works.