USG urges end to ‘USC Hookups’

Undergraduate Student Government unanimously voted Tuesday to pass a resolution that mandates the university administration to actively investigate the Facebook page USC Hook-Ups and determine what further action is needed to address the negative impacts of the page.

The Facebook page was launched on Feb. 11 by anonymous creators, and submission posts are anonymous. The page has over 1,600 likes so far. On the page, the creators urge their users to “Comment with your craziest story, raunchiest hookup, or best one night stand.”

The page has inspired 157 posts so far, most of which describe intimate and graphic details of student encounters at parties and events. The explicit nature of the posts has prompted student organizations, such as USG, to call for university interference.

Residential senators Maheen Sahoo and Jasmine McAllister worked with the Co-Director of Diversity Affairs and Assistant Director of the Women’s Student Assembly Anh Phan and Jackson Burgess, a sophomore majoring in English and narrative studies, to author the resolution.

Sahoo said that Phan approached her with worries about the page and wanted to write a resolution that would call for university intervention.

“One of my problems with this page is that the negative material posted is celebrated and rarely contested,” Phan said. “This page contains the most horrific conversations between students and other Facebook users and paints a negative portrait of our university.”

The resolution says the derogatory and explicit nature of the posts on the page is detrimental to the image of the university. The page is viewable to any Facebook user, including prospective students, parents, alumni and members of the general public, Sahoo said.

“Our reputation as an institution is undoubtedly suffering as a result,” Sahoo said. “To me, making sure that we foster a safe, tolerant and welcoming atmosphere in the USC community, whether in person or online, is of utmost importance.”

Because a number of posts on the page allude to users engaging in possible sexual assault, the resolution argues that the page does not support the USC Code of Conduct’s Policy and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Assault.

The authors also said possible victims of assault might be traumatized by the public exposure. They said this exposure could be potentially interfering with their healing process.

“The page expresses sexist, homophobic and racist sentiments toward, but not limited to, members within the USC community but also other communities at large,” Phan said. “We should not be circulating such content as educated, open-minded individuals.”

Student opposition to the USC Hook-Ups Facebook Page has resulted in a Facebook event titled “Report USC Hook-Ups to Facebook.” The event has more than 250 confirmed attendees so far.

Zoe Sanchez, a sophomore majoring in industrial and systems engineering, agreed that the page was not representative of the culture on campus and negatively impacts on the school’s image.

“People are using this page to post truly demeaning and often untrue stories,” Sanchez said. “It will really reflect badly on the morals and actions of the overall student body.”

Some students, however, said the university does not need to play a role in ending the Facebook page.

“People have the choice of posting,” said Ian Wilkerson, a sophomore majoring in communication. “A lot of other universities have similar pages. To think sexual activity doesn’t happen in college is crazy.”

The resolution calls the administration to investigate the page and limit its negative impacts. The USC Center for Women and Men also urges the administration to ensure that the page will not taint the reputation of the university by encouraging abusive behaviors.

“The creation of the page isn’t our school administration’s fault, and we certainly aren’t blaming it by drafting this resolution, but if our administrators care as much we do about ending this page’s propagation of sexism, homophobia and misogyny, they will work with us to appropriately address the problem,” Sahoo said.


11 replies
  1. Lauren Bruer
    Lauren Bruer says:

    I agree with Alex’s statement, “these crimes and hookups will happen whether or not they are on this site, and the site will likely just take another, slightly more private, form even if administration pressure forces the closure of the page.”
    The resolution doesn’t call for the closure of the page; it was written to simply get USC’s attention on the issue. (So this headline is inaccurate.) USC has a HUGE problem of sexual assault and this resolution is one of several campaigns to get them to admit it and then to take steps to create a safer campus.

    I’m not against sexual activity. I am against rape, sexual assault and harassment, misogyny, racism, and homophobia. All of which have appeared and have even been celebrated on this page.

    When the page moderators post degrading and/or violent stories, and people make comments speaking out against this stuff, the moderators usually censor their comments. As a result, the page doesn’t foster an open or positive forum about sexuality. It creates a “safe space” for hateful bullshit.

    Here’s one of the worst posts, which has since been deleted without comment. Covering their tracks much?
    “#85 My date just woke me up by asking what happened last night. She doesn’t remember anything and asked if she cheated on her boyfriend. I said definitely. She cried and walked home.”

  2. USC Mom w/ Greek Son
    USC Mom w/ Greek Son says:

    After reading this article I went to this Facebook page only to be stunned by sexual depravity described by USC students. It is truly disgusting what some have chosen to share online. Despite what is proudly proclaimed on this page, I know for a fact that not everyone on the row is taking part in SC’s own online version of Sodom and Gomorrah. There are still men of integrity on the row who don’t partake in this disgusting behavior.

    I only hope those that have forsaken their morals for the sins of the flesh turn back from the darkness that fills their hearts and find peace in His word!

    God Bless!

  3. Jasmine McAllister
    Jasmine McAllister says:

    Hi Alex,

    Thank you for your input and adding a different perspective to the conversation, and I completely agree with you that we as a community need to step up our efforts to be more aware of what sexual assault is and prevent it.

    Just to clarify, the resolution itself does not attack the Greek system. If you would like me to email you the resolution that was passed by the USG Senate last night, please contact me.

    Jasmine McAllister
    Residential Senator
    Co-Author of Resolution 03121312 regarding USC Hook-Ups Facebook Page

  4. Alex
    Alex says:

    the row brings in an amazing number of prospectives and also donations from alumni each year. Administrations at other schools where greek life is much less entrenched have backed out of trying to ban their greeks after they discovered just how many donations they would lose.

    This article seems to be full of bias. Is it really that hard to find someone who doesn’t think USC Hookups is the spawn of the devil? the only conflicting opinion in this piece comes at the very end, bracketed with the language “Some students, however, said the university does not need to play a role in ending the Facebook page.” Is this because the author took a representative sample of students and questioned their opinions via impersonal, unbiased survey and then found that only ‘some’ wanted the school to ban the page? No. It is because the author took a sample of convenience, asking similarly-minded people and simply ignoring any other commentary on the issue. It’s called confirmation bias, and it generally is not allowed in mainstream journalism.

    Furthermore, this entire article revolves around a moot point because these crimes and hookups will happen whether or not they are on this site, and the site will likely just take another, slightly more private, form even if administration pressure forces the closure of the page. If USC wants to improve its image, which is fine by me, the administration could start with actual sexual assault prevention measures instead of just blocking a website.

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