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"My friend Tom seems to be very popular on MySpace," said Dr. Gruff. "I don't remember having him in class, but this new media will help me connect in a new way."

by Matthew Michael
Freelance Writer

Dean of Students Charles S. Gruff was finally ready to join the social media revolution and get better connected to his students at Gaightes College. His enthusiasm waned quickly, though, when he joined MySpace and could not find any students there.

“My staff has spent the last five years telling me to get with the program and join some social networking sites, but I kept telling them this fad would pass,” said Gruff. “Obviously, I was wrong.”

Feeling sheepish about admitting his change of heart to his subordinates, Gruff started digging through his files of printed emails from 2005 to find out more about social networking sites.

“I remembered getting a lot about this stuff back in the 05-06 school year. Good thing I print and file all my emails or I would never have found the invitation a student sent me in October that year to join MySpace. I don’t think MySpace would’ve let me in without it.”

Gruff expressed some nervousness about whether the student would still remember him.

“I just hoped she would still feel comfortable with me visiting her space.”

Dean Gruff never got the chance to make the student uncomfortable. When he joined MySpace and typed in the invitation code, the message he received was anything but social: User not found.

“This is ridiculous!” Gruff exclaimed. “There’s no one here. The only friend I’ve made is some guy named Tom. I have a friend request from one student, but I don’t even recognize the name. Have you ever seen ‘Sarah’ spelled with three Xs?”

“It’s a rookie mistake,” Assistant Dean of Students Sherry O’Brady said of her boss’s frustrations. “But I’m glad he’s finally trying to meet students where they’re at – or, at least where they once were.”