by Whitney Carter
Like many on the Whitworth campus, I have recently had some late nights. Are these late nights due to my extensive and illuminating readings put forth by the incredible professors here at Whitworth? Or to all of the courageous conversations that inform me as to my purpose in life? No.
I stay up late because every night at around 9:30 (sometimes later, sometimes earlier) the Whitworth Confessions page posts the submissions that they received for the day. For those unenlightened folks who have better things to do with their time and haven’t read the page, it consists of a link that takes you to a third party site where “confessions” can be submitted anonymously.
This page proves that there are serious issues on campus. Alongside the funny posts are posts confessing suicidal thoughts, eating disorders and self-esteem issues. These problems are not unique to Whitworth’s campus. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, nearly 1,000,000 people make a suicide attempt every year. Also, according to Bulimia.com, as many as 10 percent of college women suffer from a clinical eating disorder. This page has created a safe place for people struggling to say what they’re struggling with and possibly find help. I have not seen a cry for help on that page that has not resulted in someone stepping up to comment and encouraging the anonymous poster to contact someone, even if it’s just to talk. I applaud my fellow students for that. In addition, the page allows student to put their views out there without fear of judgment.
This page has gotten a lot of criticism lately and as a result, a Whitworth Compliments page has been created. It has the same premise as Whitworth Confessions, but only nice comments are posted. The issue I see with it is that you take away the power of having a safe place. Yeah, it’s nice to see the compliments and the positive things about Whitworth, but our school is never going to get better if we do not acknowledge the struggles that some of our fellow students are facing. If we take away or censor this safe place, then we’re taking away someone’s voice, and possibly their cry for help.
Contact Whitney Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org