Anonymous confessions page draws varied student comments

Following the lead of many universities including the University of Texas, Texas State University, Harvard University and Princeton University, an undisclosed person recently started a St. Edward’s University Confessions page on Facebook.

St. Edward’s students were invited to share their most private secrets using an anonymous link on The confessions were then posted to the Facebook page for anybody with a Facebook account to read.

Since being created on February 11 of this year, the page had 709 likes and over 200 confessions at press time.

The content matter of the confessions varies widely from admissions of illegal activity and wrongdoings to peers to confessions of love and sexual encounters with fellow St. Edward’s students.

Most of the confessions are of negative opinions, such as “Why are we building a second science building and not a new theatre?” but a few represent a more positive aspect of the community, such as “I thank God every day that I ended up coming to St. Edward’s. This is where I was meant to go to college.”

The seriousness of the confessions also vary, from addressing abuse with “Was in a serious relationship with an abusive guy last semester and am still in counseling for it. Still hurts to think about it too.” to admissions of on-campus mischief like “I prank call members of the Student Government pretending to be Bill Clinton.”

The administrators of the Facebook page were unable to be reached for comment and had not posted any confessions on the page in over three weeks.

Almost as varied as the content matter is the reception from members of the St. Edward’s community. A frequent commenter of the page, sophomore Damion Laverne finds the page humorous.

“I don’t really think the confessions page gives the school a bad name and it shouldn’t,” Laverne said. “Take it with a grain of salt because it’s not like this stuff happens all the time.”

Sophomore Krystal Joseph agrees, calling the page “lighthearted and fun.”

“I believe that by keeping the page up, no harm will be done, and if anything it will just bring the university something to bond over and spread a few laughs,” Joseph said.

A request for a comment from the Student Government Association was declined.

Professor of English Writing and Rhetoric Beth Eakman was unaware of the page, which she called “sad” and “disappointing” but not surprising, until asked to give a comment on her perception.

“You’ve got some people who I think are really being sincere and some people who are being creeps and other people that are writing fiction,” Eakman said.

As a rhetoric professor, Eakman sees the page as a document with no purpose.

“It’s supposed to be a confession, but since there’s no direction at all, it’s anarchy, so it ends up just being noise,” she said.

The question of the sincerity of the confessions comes into play since there is no way to tell who the confession is from and therefore, no way to verify it’s truthfulness.

Laverne estimated that 60-70 percent of the confessions were true.

“I don’t doubt some of the things happen here,” he said.

Joseph also supposes the page is mostly true.

“I believe just like any other university confession page there is mostly truth to the comments but a few over-exaggerations or lies,” Joseph said. “It may have some truth to it, but it doesn’t resemble what St. Ed’s stands for and what it represents.”

Eakman advises the confessors to find another outlet for their secrets.

“We are Catholic. We have professionals on our campus that you can confess to,” Eakman said. “Go to someone that knows what they are doing.”