The following is a satirical article that was published in the April Fool’s edition of the newspaper.
Writers often talk of having a muse that inspires them, and mine is the Student Forum.
If you haven’t been there, click onto FirstClass right now and spend a couple of hours browsing the seemingly endless threads of campus hot topics such as “Direct Connect,” “Howie Day,” “Idiots” and “More Idiots.”
Being privy to the sheer brilliance of the Student Forum is an experience unlike any other. Not only is it a great way to get information, it is constantly being updated with replies and new topics from some of the most reasonable, respectful and creative wordsmiths on campus.
The Student Forum is constantly surprising me. For instance, last week there was a 77-plus post thread on the subject “UMS.” At first glance, one would think the topic of discussion would be the University of Maine System’s future consolidation of seven universities down to four. While the original post was on said topic, clicking on post 26 or so revealed to me that the discussion was now on the laptop program in Maine public schools. Ingenious! When I thought I would be getting a perspective on the UMS – as was in the subject line – I was actually getting someone’s thoughts on an entirely different subject. Luckily, no one had changed the subject line to relay that the thread was on a new topic, so I was completely surprised.
But wait, there’s more. Student Forum has certain mysteries, certain je ne sais quois, if you will. For instance, this week there was a thread that had the subject line “K.” What would “K” stand for? “OK?” “Kentucky?” “Kissing?” Or perhaps an initial of a person or event on campus. Oh, the suspense. I could hardly wait to click on the elusive thread and have the mystery revealed.
Another benefit to the student forum is how it brings student leaders in contact with the little people on campus. Again back to the UMS thread last week, Matthew O. Gagnon, former president of the General Student Senate, had 10 posts in a row, which he used to refute all arguments before him. If it weren’t for the Student Forum, how else would I have known where Gagnon stands on such important issues? And how convenient that the Student Forum allows him to post 10 times in a row so I don’t have to go looking all around for his posts. I can just spend an hour clicking on them one-by-one and reading them all in one sitting.
If only there were a print version of the Student Forum where students could write in with their opinions on matters of importance to the campus community. Perhaps this publication could have news stories and listings of events at the university.
But would such a publication take away from the timeless e-mailing tradition and utter convenience of the online Student Forum? Never! It is this online community, and not, say, a newspaper that truly brings people together in a Mensa-like exchange of ideas. What surprises me is how truly respectful and cordial people are to each other on the Student Forum. They can agree to disagree without *sighing* or *rolling their eyes* disdainfully at one another. This is democracy at work, folks.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to the Student Forum. *Waves good-bye.*
Julia Hall is a computer science major who spends 90-plus hours on the Student Forum a week.