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Barstool Hillsdale, a social media account affil­iated with the national Barstool orga­ni­zation and ded­i­cated to doc­u­menting comic Hillsdale hap­penings, has unfor­tu­nately oozed into student culture to the point that, when an unusual event happens, stu­dents think aloud, “I wonder if this will end up on Barstool.” This creates an unhealthy envi­ronment for the school and campus culture. Stop fol­lowing Barstool Hillsdale.

Some argue that Barstool helps dis­courage unwanted behavior, like PDA. But there’s an easier way to get someone’s attention than taking an anony­mously recorded video of someone, sending it to someone who will post it on social media with a snarky caption, and hoping that the target of your video will be so embar­rassed that they cease the unwanted behavior.

Con­fronting indi­viduals about awkward, maybe embar­rassing behavior isn’t com­fortable, espe­cially if you don’t know them per­sonally. But it’s OK to make new friends. And a private comment from a stranger about conduct that you think is inap­pro­priate is far kinder than creep-shotting someone from across the room.

Barstool punches down. A recent video with more than 9,900 views depicts a Hillsdale student passed out on a bathroom floor, pants around his ankles. While the video does not show his face, many know who the student is.

In the bib­lical story of the good Samaritan, a stranger lies injured on the road, while trav­elers pass by him. In Barstool’s world, people walking by take video of the injured man and give it a snarky caption for strangers to laugh at. And while intox­i­cation is a matter of per­sonal respon­si­bility, unlike being assaulted on the road, memo­ri­al­izing someone’s hurt in an Instagram post goes against what Hillsdale stands for.

A recent Barstool post showed an exam with a professor’s harsh com­ments and encouraged the student to drop out. Razi Lane, a 2018 alumnus and former class pres­ident, left a con­structive comment on the post, encour­aging the student to renew his efforts, rather than drop out. From Lane’s response, Barstool found material for another post.

“Imagine waking up and deciding you’re going to be like this,” Barstool quipped on Twitter.

But Lane demon­strated traits we should all strive to cul­tivate: kindness and encour­agement. Barstool is deceitful. A November 2018 post por­trays a couple of stu­dents who look like they’re making out. They weren’t. But due to the unfor­tunate angle and snarky caption, many believed they were and mocked them for it when they weren’t even aware a picture had been taken.

Barstool and the other snark accounts at Hillsdale make stu­dents feel like they’re always being watched. Let’s call it what it is: an invasion of privacy.

Barstool takes the things that make Hillsdale unique and turns them into jokes. A Parents Weekend post mocked parental com­ments over­heard on campus, like “You’re so lucky that you get to have such a great rela­tionship with your pro­fessors,” and “The chapel is going to be so awesome when it’s fin­ished.”

We should be grateful to attend a school where we can have a great rela­tionship with our pro­fessors and where class sizes are small enough that we can get to know them as friends.

Barstool as a national orga­ni­zation is a company with poor ethics. The Daily Beast wrote an article doc­u­menting sexism and harassment at Barstool and the company responded by posting the per­sonal details of the reporter online for its hun­dreds of thou­sands of fol­lowers to harass.

Barstool Hillsdale has higher stan­dards than the national orga­ni­zation.

“We’re working hand-in-hand with the deans.” said Junior Jacob Sievers, who runs the Hillsdale Barstool account. “Any­thing the deans ask me to take down, I take down instantly.” Stu­dents can reach out to Sievers on their own if they feel uncom­fortable about content shown of them. Sievers said he honors 95 percent of the wishes.

Sure, Barstool has some good content about Hillsdale’s sports teams and funny events on campus. But it also posts false content that hurts stu­dents. Don’t support the neg­ative aspects of Barstool as a national group. As a campus, we should ignore Barstool Hillsdale.

Again, I under­stand that Barstool is a joke account. Many responses will say, “Don’t you get it? It’s just a joke.” I do get the joke. I’ve laughed at Barstool jokes. Some of them are funny. But it doesn’t add to the culture we wish to cul­tivate at Hillsdale and should be ignored as the childish endeavor that it is.

Joel Meng is a junior studying American Studies.

  • Camus53

    Free speech. Free thoughts and ideas start right at home and should at Hillsdale.

    What? Hillsdale is no longer a bastion of free thinking, open minds and vibrant voices?

    Sad.

    Mr. Joel I would perhaps ask that you, as a student of American Studies, visit the muses of Thomas Jef­ferson snd Ben­jamin Franklin each of whom,
    among actually all our Founding Fathers, wrote so pas­sion­ately and elo­quently about free speech, free press, freedoms.

    Yes they all come with obvious respon­si­bil­ities. But infrin­fringement based on your likes and dis­likes can easily be used by others to stifle your own voice. Be careful for what you wish. Listen again to our nation’s sage founder’s. Feel free to speak up, as do and should, ALL of us.

    Cel­e­brate don’t den­i­grate our freedoms.

    • Jen­nifer Melfi

      Keep in mind that our founding fathers all wrote various pam­phlets against one another and their view­points that were both well-read and quite cutting, inclusive of per­sonal attacks.

      • Camus53

        Jef­ferson in par­ticular wrote pas­sion­ately, often with stern rebuke, about free speech and also freedom from religous tyranny and intrusion into gov­ernment.
        But when you have a POTUS who doesn’t give a bird turd about our Con­sti­tution or founding fathers, well, what can you say?

        • Jen­nifer Melfi

          Anyone who truly believes in liberty and free speech would cer­tainly rebuke dr. Arnn for leading the school into a moral and reli­gious quagmire

  • Jen­nifer Melfi

    I follow Barstool Hillsdale. I wish they were funnier and did more funny jokes. That being said, their callout of PDA culture and weird stuff on campus is needed and welcome. They can say whatever they want, it isn’t harming anyone. I am actually offended that the student would be so sub­servient to the deans — kind of embar­rassing to walk the line that way, probably the reason there isn’t that much funny stuff. The deans shouldn’t have that kind of power, and the author sounds like they are in favor of more inter­ven­tionist dean policy.… shameful.