The University put an end last week to community facilitators’ ability to access an active log of students’ behavior that one CF called “big brotherish.”
The directory, run by the Community Living and Learning Center, is used to record all “meaningful interactions” with residents, said a CF, who requested anonymity. A former CF said the system has been in use since spring 2004, but CLLC supervisors said it was implemented this summer.
The CF said the system allowed CFs to monitor shifts in residents’ mental health by entering comments about them in the online system that other CLLC staff could access. University officials did not corroborate the CF’s account of the system, and would only talk through e-mail.
“I’m glad they’re getting rid of it,” the CF said. “We’d spend our lives contact logging if we did it the way CLLC said to. It had some purpose, but I know that if I wasn’t a CF, I’d hate that I was always being watched.”
University officials canceled CFs’ ability to access the log Sept. 20 because the log was “not working as originally intended.” The Hatchet began questioning CLLC about the database, Sept. 13.
“It has been brought to my attention that contact logs used by CFs has caused some concern among the student body,” Mark Levine, senior assistant dean of CLLC, wrote in an e-mail. “The University is sensitive to these concerns and has eliminated the ability of CFs to use contact log.” The system will now be used primarily to track CLLC customer service issues as opposed to residents’ mental health issues. Levine declined to say whether it was CFs or residents complaining about the database.
“It was more of a nuisance than anything else,” said another CF, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity. “If we have a problem we can still report it,” the CF said.
The other CF said some CFs used it more than others. He said he had used it 10 or 15 times this year, but another CF used it only five or six times.
CLLC originally used the system to keep track of phone calls from students and families regarding move-in and other housing-related issues this summer. The logs were then used to monitor mood swings or behavior changes in residents, the first CF said.
“What they wanted us to do was overboard,” the first CF said.
The other CF said the change in database access will not alter the way he does his job and added that he will now only report important incidents.
University officials said the database was never used to monitor student behavior for judicial purposes.
“Consistent with contact log’s use as a customer service tool, interactions in contact log were never used in any sort of University judicial hearing,” Levine wrote in an e-mail Wednesday. “Contact log is not and has never been used to enforce or detect adherence to University policies.”
-Brandon Butler and Sam Kass contributed to this report.