Rice gained a new bathroom wall this April, joining the boredat network with the creation of the boredatrice.net Web site. Boredatrice is one of dozens of anonymous collegiate posting sites, which include juicycampus.com, allowing students to post whatever they want under the protection of anonymity, with themes often trending towards the vulgar. Since the first post on April 10 - a clip of the "Charlie Bit Me" YouTube video - the Rice site has gained over 60 more posts and over 500 responses.Lovett College junior Leah Withers and Baker College senior Tiffany Lee pushed for the creation of a boredat site for Rice in November 2007 by posting on the boredat Facebook request board and received a response on April 2 announcing that the university's site had been created.
"I was just online once and stumbled upon my friend who goes to Columbia, and she was on boredat," Withers said. "I thought it would be a good concept."
Withers said she thought the site could assist in the building of a campus-wide community.
"We have a lot of college community, but I don't feel like we have a lot of Rice community," Withers said.
However, unlike the university's rush to join Facebook when the Web site was first made available to Rice in fall 2004, students currently seem rather unaware of the boredat network, which was founded in February 2006 at Columbia University and has been covered in the media by The New Yorker and MSNBC.
Rice's new sex publication, Open Magazine, has been a hot discussion topic on boredatrice, with the thread "open magazine is finally getting released" currently the most popular topic, boasting 43 replies. The thread is filled with anonymous posters lodging insult-filled diatribes about the magazine. However, Open Editor in Chief Rachel Solnick said she and her staff had never heard of the site until asked about it by the Rice Thresher.
Open Editorial Editor and Short Story Editor Katherin Sudol said she laughed when she read the comments on the site.
"A lot of this is just people yelling at each other," Sudol, a Martel College sophomore, said. "Everybody is entitled to their own opinion."
The end of classes has not helped increase traffic flow to the Web site. As of May 13, there has not been a new topic posted since May 1.
Withers said the current Web site is nothing like how she had originally envisioned it.
"I kind of imagined it being more random people asking questions about homework, about life," Withers said. "Not too much like a conversation blogspot, but more like an academic community at Rice for people to ask questions of each other."
But Withers admits the site did not turn out that way. The title of the second-most-popular thread, "why are rice girls so ugly?" with 38 replies, hints at the general tone of the posts.
In fact, Withers said she has only gone on the site once and was immediately repulsed by the comments she found there.
"I was disgusted," Withers said. "Some guy was like, 'President Leebron is the shit. He must have a big wang because he has that hot Asian wife.'"
Despite the current themes, Withers said she still felt that boredatrice.net had possibilities.
"I honestly only went on it one time, so I'm not going to make a judgment about it," Withers said. "I still think it has potential.