Airing dirty linen online

Thulani Gqirana

GONE are the days when a confession was a secret meeting between a priest and a congregant in a quiet church. Now it is loud, online and accessible to thousands of people.

University students across the country have created Facebook pages where they encourage others to confess about anything and everything.

Eastern Cape students at Rhodes and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan (NMMU) universities are among those baring their souls to thousands of their peers in the cyber confessionals.

The NMMU Confessions page, which has been active for less than a week, has had almost 8000 likes, with about 350 confessions posted since May 30.

Rhodes Confessions, which has been active since May 29, has had almost 7000 likes and recorded about 600 posts.

Current and former students face their deepest fears and anonymously confess to anything from secret crushes on their lecturers to relationship issues, health problems and just general mischief.

The confessions cover anything from abortions to exams, fashion advice to sexual orientation.

Among the NMMU Confessions are:

#confession300: “I think this page is going to be the reason for hundreds, if not thousands, of students failing exams, cause even I keep looking in every 5 minutes to read latest updates. The re-exams are going to be fully loaded hahaha. Talk about bad timing.”

#confession 295: “I’m sooo in love with this guy named Trevino Minni from 2nd ave, but i dunno how to let him know . . .”

#confession 293: “I wanted to go overseas for a year but my parents said i must get a degree, so I’m going to fail these exams on purpose so they have no choice to let me go”

#confession 288: “I have a crush on my business management lecturer … Gosh he drives me insane and I’ve asked him b4 if he is married, i sit in front during his lectures as I know he loves talking to students. Each time he greets me and asks me about EB101 I go crazy …”

#confession 287: “I have been calling Miss Adriaan from fashion design just to hear her say hello. sexiest and hottest lecturer on 2nd ave.”

#confession 234: “I know a girl who’s dating one of the shuttle drivers … We see you!!”

At Rhodes, the confessions range from the hilarious to the risque: Rhodes Confession 545: “I used my friend’s student number to sign up for toastmasters just to get a free glass of wine. I’m sorry for that R650 they deducted from your student account.”

Rhodes Confession 550: “I wear torn or old underwear each time i visit a guy to restrain myself from getting naked!!! that way i wouldn’t dare go there! #worksallthetime.”

Rhodes Confession 534: “I read the NMMU confessions page just to laugh at their spelling mistakes and english. I know its wrong but they make it so easy.”

NMMU spokeswoman Roslyn Baatjies said they monitored the page and had so far decided to enforce the university’s web policy, which regulates the use of the university’s name and logo, as well as guidelines for the use of social media.

“We are just keeping an eye in case the university’s name is brought into disrepute or a student engages in hate speech,” Baatjies said.

Rhodes University spokesman Zamuxolo Matiwana said if it were found that students transgressed the institution’s rules, the first approach would be to “guide and counsel” them.

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