In this day and age it seems that privacy is no longer sacred. Everything we do on a Friday night is plastered up Facebook by Sunday afternoon. Yet there are some things about privacy that everyone should respect.

In light of last week’s suicide incident at Rutgers University, we believe that there are two important things to take not of.

First, privacy matters. With the Internet providing an openly accessible medium for anyone in the world to access, content exposed on the Internet without the subject’s permission undoubtedly violates that person’s privacy. From Facebook photos to YouTube videos, keep in mind that if they contain persons, words or behaviors that are not of your own, aim to consider the other person’s human right of privacy before exposing them to the outside world. Privacy is an instinctual human desire that deserves respect and should not be thrown to the side of the street for the trash pickers to pick up.

Second, as far as we come as a society we are often still cruel to those we feel are different. As humans, we need to constantly remind ourselves of the Golden Rule; treat others as you would like to be treated. If you hope to never have embarrassing associations published for friends, employers and family to see, remember that your “not-so-great” of a friend wishes for the same.

Rumors are rumors, and before social networking and text messaging existed people still spread rumors.  Have you heard of the grapevine?  Remember the telephone game you played as a child and how you learned the simple truth could easily be twisted into a lie. Whether fact or fiction, hurtful stories about others can cause unwanted and unnecessary harm.

In October 2006, 13-year-old Megan Meier committed suicide after receiving threatening messages on MySpace from a boy named “Josh,” who was actually Meier’s 47-year-old neighbor. Events like these prove how easy it is to cause damage with a click of the mouse.

As students at Fairfield University we are exposed and are conditioned to the Jesuit ideals and values. Our website states, “In the Jesuit tradition, that desire is born of an academic rigor that includes embracing difference, incorporating the best of “the new,” examining social systems critically, and becoming directly involved with those who are underprivileged and underserved.”

Live up to this Jesuit tradition not only to best represent your place of higher education but also to thrive as a prosperous and contributing person in today’s society. Recent news only shows that it’s needed.

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