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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
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Tipsy and in trouble

By Ana Breton

Three U students were asked to give a lecture about the dangers of social Web sites like Myspace.com and Facebook.com last month after they were caught posting controversial pictures of themselves online.

Housing and Residential Education administrators questioned three roommates in a Sage Point Residence Hall after photos of what appeared to be the three men drinking alcohol inside their rooms were brought to their attention.

Jay Wilgus, residential education coordinator, said he could not disclose details about who found the photos, which were posted on Facebook.

Andy Dwenger, one of the students who was caught, said the location in the photos was obvious because his and his roommates’ room has identifiable decorations.

However, HRE administrators were not able to cite the men for alcohol consumption, which is illegal in the Residence Halls, because they could not confirm that the bottles in the pictures contained alcohol.

Instead of writing a reflection essay and taking a $50 alcohol and drug education class from Campus Wellness Connection — the first-offense punishment for residents who are caught drinking in the Residence Halls — the three roommates opted to give a lecture about online safety to their fellow residents.

Dwenger and his roommates, Alex Coffman and Matlock Arnold, gave residents tips about things they should not post on public Web sites, including phone numbers, addresses and scandalous photos.

They also advised MySpacers and Facebookers to adjust their privacy settings so HRE would not be able to view their profiles in the future.

“And don’t be friends with your (resident adviser) on MySpace,” said Dwenger, a sophomore in chemistry. “Try to lead separate lives.”

Wilgus assured residents that HRE administrators do not regularly monitor social Web sites, but if material that breaks the Residence Halls’ guidelines is brought to their attention, they are forced to report it.

“Residents have to keep in mind that sites like MySpace and Facebook are public domains,” Wilgus said. “And unless their privacy settings are changed, there’s a good chance it’ll get passed around and we’ll see it.”

The photos have since been taken down.

“In a way, I’m glad that a picture that brought so much conflict had people talking,” said Coffman, a sophomore in medicine.

The first offense for consuming alcohol in the Residence Halls involves taking a class from Campus Wellness Connection. The second offense involves probation and the third is usually eviction. However, punishment varies from case to case, Wilgus said.

“Hopefully, we can share what we’ve gone through instead of keeping the lesson to ourselves,” said Matlock, a sophomore in psychology.

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