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.