Confessions page throws spotlight on campus indiscretions

Students take to the Internet to rant, confess, and call each other out.

Such are the confessions to be found on the American River Confessions Facebook page:

“After almost two years of college I’m seriously considering calling it quits.”

“I cheat on my girlfriend regularly with girls I meet in class, and see no problem with this.”

The page is just the closest-to-home of a recent trend. College confession pages have been popping up all over the Internet and across the country in the last few years. These pages deal in the posting of anonymous confessions from alleged students. Their subject matter touches on a variety of subjects, including “slut-shaming,” nerd bashing, relationship dysfunction and clique rivalries.

“Most of the time the site is used for bashing someone. If they actually used it for what it should be, I think it would be a little more enjoyable.” said Elizabeth Belmont, biology major. “Maybe when they refer to actual names, that should be anonymous, just blank out the names and it would be a lot better and wouldn’t anger as much people as it is now.”

Positive confessions appear, but are few and far between. “I’m happy as [expletive] right now cuzz. … When I was young I coulda never dreamed of somethin like this. Im just a few months away from getting my AA. Tho it may not be much, im just happy im doin something with my life. Im just happy to be here man, I really am. Thank U,” one such anonymous confession read.

The apparent overriding concern of the page is the large number of confessions alleging the submitters masturbate on campus. “If students are coming across crimes out there and it’s not being reported … We have no knowledge that it’s even occurring,” said Sgt. Olsen.

With at least one confession mentions reporting another person pleasuring themselves in their car, that’s surprising. Campus police knew nothing about the page until approached for comment.

Confessions are submitted anonymously through a SurveyMonkey page and then posted by a page moderator. While other schools seek to protect student privacy by not posting confessions, which call out individuals by name, American River Confessions publishes such confessions in all their daytime talk show glory. Posts call out students, especially athletes, by number or even name, alleging details of sexual conduct.

One confession claimed to have witnessed sexual acts performed by a player on a coach, while another accused a player of having a sexually transmitted disease. The subject of a confession can be determined simply by a complete description, or through behavior.

The page is not associated with the college in any way and very few of the confessions are even possible to substantiate. The name “American River Confessions” is something of a misnomer, even, as many of the “confessions” are more akin to venting, insults, accusations, instigations or escalation of conflict, rather than personal admittances.

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