It’s that time again. Once more, Boise State’s administration is attempting to shut the Bronco Confessions Facebook page down. Their claim: they have a trademark on the word “Broncos.” Are you kidding me?
Boise State doesn’t tolerate the consumption or possession of alcohol and other drugs. Boise State doesn’t tolerate the smoking of cigarettes. But do they tolerate free speech?
On March 1, Rachael Bickerton, director of Trademark Licensing and Enforcement, sent a warning message to the page’s administrator, which was later shared with The Arbiter.
According to this message, the university is “not attempting to prevent the right of free speech.”
They do, however, “wish to protect the school’s intellectual property assets.” These intentions are somewhat understandable.
But at the same time, can the undergrads catch a break on this one?
Is the page really that big of a deal? Something of such importance, they feel the need to once more attempt a shut-down?
The administrator of Bronco Confessions complied with the original request to change the name of the page when it was “Boise State Confessions,” on trademark grounds.
This administrator, who wishes to remain anonymous, told The Arbiter, “I’m angry because there’s nothing I can do to abide by their wishes.” That sounds about right.
According to the page’s administrator, once you’ve gotten 200 likes on a page, (the page has almost 4,000 likes now) Facebook does not allow a name change.
And in her message, Bickerton suggests the name be changed to something like “Confessions from Boise State Students” as it gives ownership of the page’s views.
But who in their right mind thinks Boise State University’s Administration actually approves of all of the ridiculous claims on the Bronco Confessions page?
The page even very explicitly states, “This page is in no way run by or affiliated with Boise State University.” Obviously these statements are posted by students.
It’s got to be an ass-coverage thing on the university’s part, because otherwise there would be no reason to waste their time on such a thing. They say it’s not a freedom of speech attack; but I seriously doubt the Boise State Compliments (much less controversial) page is getting warned with such devotion.
The fact of the matter is this: the page is for fun.
And it brings us together as an undergraduate community in an age where we have the tools to do so. Isn’t sense of community ideal?
Very often on the page, there are cries for help. I’m sure some of these are for attention. But it’s unlikely they all are. What if someone just needs a person to talk to? I’ve seen many posts by people who are just looking for a friend. And these posts, more often than not, are greeted with words of encouragement from real peers, peers with a helping hand to lend.
I do apologize to the administration for the candor of its students. But this is how many college kids are. We’re raunchy and controversial. We say things we shouldn’t. And we like to laugh. Maybe it’s not pretty and maybe it’s not right. But it’s where we are in our lives.
People sometimes post very outlandish remarks. Basically, if everyone were telling the truth on the Bronco Confessions page, the school would be a giant orgy. Clearly this is not all true.
And according to the Bronco Confessions’ administrator, “What gets posted is the least of the nasty shit.” He says 50 percent of what comes through is what gets posted.
And this is the least of the crude content.
If the administration thinks our humor is paid at the expense of the university, then they don’t understand the students they’re administering.
They should encourage and expect noble behavior. But to be on a person’s back for administering a page that gives students a voice is an insult.
Let us have this one.