McDaniel students say the darndest things

Blog showcases some of the more unfortunate phrases to come out of students’ mouths

By Katelynn McGinley

Whether it’s the President of the United States or the girl who sits next to you in Chemistry, people have a beautiful tendency to put their foot in their mouths. It’s a good bet that even you, illustrious reader, have at some point said something that has caused your friends to look at you in stunned disbelief and say “I cannot believe you just said that.”

People saying dumb things? That’s nothing new. What is new, however, is being able to share these less than brilliant, but oh so entertaining gems of wisdom with the rest of the world via the internet. It’s also exactly what McDaniel students can do, thanks to Overheard at McDaniel, a blog that welcomes you to “The newest source of awkward McDaniel gossip!” whose popularity has been growing steadily since its start at the beginning of September.

The blog, founded and run by an anonymous McDaniel student, is an unbiased look at what happens when students (or faculty members) are overheard saying something witty, gross, or that just falls under the category of T.M.I. (Too Much Information!). No one is safe – Honor students who are confused about whether or not the Amish have driveways and frat guys waxing philosophical about a girl’s bra size are all equally fair game. A personal favorite would be the one where a female student was overheard making a parallel between GLAR cookies and a certain part of the male anatomy.

One might think that such blunt dialogue being used in association with the college’s name will draw some raised eyebrows and criticism from the administration, but as Associate Director of Public Relations, Michele Leiberman told The Free Press; “We are an institution where freedom of speech is encouraged.” This is a reassuring statement, to be sure. Even more so when you consider that the University of Florida student who was tasered by campus police at a Q & A with Senator John Kerry was exercising this same right.

In reference to the blog, Assistant Professor of Communications, Jonathan Slade had this to say; “Students are clearly embracing emerging media like blogs and podcasting, and while this is creating new and exciting ways to communicate, it doesn’t always raise the quality of discourse.”

He goes on to add, however that after looking over the posts on the site that he “found a few clever exchanges; nothing that really shocked or horrified me. Much of the strong language and sexual innuendo could be found in an Rrated movie – which you need to be 18 or older to attend. And since a college community is typically aged 18 or older, I find little on the blog so far that is extreme.”

Journalism professor, Terry Dalton, admits that he sees nothing ethically wrong with the blog – students are not named, and quotes are attributed vaguely to people like Soccer Girl #1 or Random Drunk Guy. However, he also adds that he is “wary of another distraction for students” that is in the same vein as wildly popular sites like Myspace and Facebook.

So what do the students think of Overheard at McDaniel? In this case, the numbers speak for themselves. Since the first post on September 4, the blog has massed 1170 hits (at press time), or an average of about 73 hits a day.

Whatever your personal feelings on Overheard at McDaniel might be, one thing is for sure; the next time you feel like loudly discussing whether or not it’s possible to get gonorrhea in your eyes while you’re waiting for your food at the pub, be warned that the people waiting in line behind you might just want to share that particular witticism with the rest of the campus.