Should professors ‘friend’ students?

With the world of social media growing, there are new methods and concerns that come along with it.

When it comes to relationships between students and their professors, social media sites, such as Facebook, can be a controversial issue.


Social media sites allow people to communicate with and get to know others more freely than the more traditional options, such as emails.


However, is a professor adding a student on a social media site appropriate? Or is it crossing a barrier in student-professor relationships?

This question has been raised by people in colleges around the globe.

When it comes to MCCC, the opinions on this issue are divided. Numerous people support professors and students connecting via social media sites, while others are against it.


“I don’t really see a problem with it, if the student allows it, then it’s their responsibility to conduct themselves in an adult-like manner,” said MCCC student Kyle Corollo.

Multiple students, including Ally Williams and Angelique Bedee, agree that it is a good method of communication, as long as the relationship is kept professional and mature.

“Facebook is a public website, so who is to say whom a person is allowed to friend or not?” Jamie Newcomber, another MCCC student, said.

Professors also hold opinions about this method. David Reiman, professor of business, is one of the professors who has a strong opinion on the matter.

“This is a decision that should be left with each faculty member,” Reiman said. “I do believe that if a professor chooses to friend students, they should not be exclusive. If he or she accepts an invitation from one student, they should accept any student.”

Personally, Reiman has a Facebook account, but has not “friended” any students on it. He suggests using LinkedIn, another social media site that is more professional for students and teachers to communicate.

Also, Reiman believes the relationship between a student and professor should start in the classroom, but social media sites can strengthen and maintain that relationship once formed.

While some people believe adding students or professors on social media sites improves communication and relationships, others think it is inappropriate.

“I would say adding a student or professor is wrong because if a professor sees a student’s Facebook page they might judge them, positively or negatively, based on their page and be inclined to give them a grade based on their judgment rather than their academic scores,” Rachel Wehner said.

“We have blackboard and student email for a reason; I like to keep my social media out of professor’s hands if I can help it,” Dylan Miracle said.

“I think they’re professional people and they shouldn’t be adding their students because that could lead to trouble within the relationship,” Marissa Kitts said.

Clearly, not everyone is supportive of  professors and students building relationships or communicating through social media sites.

Other alternatives to Facebook include LinkedIn, which is less personal. Or people could always use email or face to face contact to prevent problems from arising.

Issues with this subject include exclusiveness, inappropriateness, and judgment, while the positives that come from it include such things as better communication and staying in contact outside of the college years.