Jeopardy! is a staple in my family. I would make my way to my grandparents house for a visit - arriving just in time for “The Wheel” (Wheel of Fortune) and Jeopardy! to air. I would sit on the couch across from my grandfather on his recliner chair, TV blaring and help my grandmother complete a puzzle. Sometimes she’d hand me a comb and say, “Laur, give my hair a brush.” I would sit and brush her hair for hours in the front room.
The front room was always impeccably clean - moderate size with a small fireplace and mantle filled with those tasteful small houses that used to come with your package of Red Rose tea. The floor was adorned with an oriental rug while reclining wing-back chairs flanked the bay window where there sat an old “sideboard/hidden-record player.” Sitting at attention on the floor near the fireplace was Nan’s favourite dog, Coco. Coco was a brown miniature-poodle sculpture which was later spray painted gold, when Nan thought Coco needed a makeover. There was display case in one corner which housed Nanny’s collection of Swarovski crystal figurines - her particular favorite, a dolphin. A small symbol of winters spent in Florida.
At Nan’s I could relax. Nothing was expected of me. It was a relief. I could just be me. I’d do the geeky things that I enjoyed like dressing up in Nan’s costume jewelry or reorganizing her bedroom photographs (while occasionally eating chocolates in her fridge). We’d assemble puzzles and she’d say, “I just can’t seem to get this one Laur - I need your help.”
What do you do when a tweet makes headlines when you’ve already been in the news for various, not so positive issues?
The case of Saint Mary’s University and social media
So what DO you do when several disrespectful tweets from students make national news where you are trying to avoid the spotlight?
Do you pursue legal action or advice? Do you do what you think will please the public or do you stand by your own policies and procedure which may be, for argument’s sake, outdated? Do you have a lockdown on social media on campus - no messages sent in or out? Do you hunt down the suspected journalist who is going to extreme lengths to deface your institution (but honestly, who checks undergrads twitter accounts just ‘cause?)? Do you claim no responsibility because - after all you cannot muzzle another citizen - free speech is a known right in this country - no matter the content…?
The solution to these issues is albeit complex but a simple duty of care can be taken into account. Yet, how do you control a student’s freedom of speech?