Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Web Censors Prompt College To Consider Name Change 254

babbage writes: "The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Beaver College is considering a name change. The president of the formerly all-girls college commented that she worries about derogatory remarks and jokes." And now she has Web censorship to deal with, too.

While insults and jokes have been around a long time (as has the word "beaver" as sexual slang), Web-filtering software has not. And some Web filters, which are by necessity based on logic not suited to all situations, block the college's Web site and e-mail. Check out the Inquirer article.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Web Censors Prompt College To Consider Name Change

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward [], []

    I like how they're one of the 2000 top colleges in the US. Why is there even an award for that?

    now talk amongst yaselves...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    First of all, it is the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, not the NATIONAL ENQUIRER [].

    Second, why would any software block a .edu domain??? Like there is going to be a porn site on a .edu? I somehow doubt that. How retarded this software is.
  • Yes, but my post was not a real post. It was humor. Darn, I forgot to put "HUMOR" in the subject line again...

    Besides, if they call themselves the "Inquirer", there will be that negative association. Why don't they change their name? Maybe web filters will eventually block all "suspicious-lookin g Inquirer [] sites too. Check out the link, their journalism isn't that serious. Anything that's written at a sixth-grade level for the below-average american can't be.

    So what do you think? Inquiring minds want to know... :)
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • Beaver College is really a nice place. You can't deny the jokes - when I was at Dow Jones we had a girl from Beaver College and it gave everybody a chuckle. More so because she was absolutely beautiful and smart. Btw, Glenside also has one of the coolest places to see a show - the Keswick Theatre. ( I caught Dr. John there a couple of weeks ago.
  • Whoops! They're at
  • Yes, there are school names that would NEVER have made it through test marketing today. I have have to say that an all-girl school named Beaver sounds the setup to a marginal joke. Imagine the testimonials:

    "My life before Beaver was terrible. I was in a dead end job, I looked and smelled terrible and I was always irratable. But then, I found Beaver. Sure, there were a lot of sleepless nights, but it was worth it!"


  • Um... if they have less applicants because of the name, they could resort to getting foreign students who speak English but don't know the slang (yet :) ).
  • There is the Austrian city of Fucking (a somehow related link []), where street plates are often stolen by souvenir hunters.

    And there is the Japanese prefecture of Kinki, whose authorities actually thought of changing the name, because of ridicule from Americans.
  • As well as the "Microsoft Invents Symbolic Links" and "Care to Register Your Own TLD?" postings, both of which give the impression that the editor didn't bother to read past the first couple of paragraphs. (No, they're not simple symlinks, and no, under that stupid plan, companies wouldn't be able to buy the .sucks domain for their own name.)
  • And dont forget that when the polytechnic colleges were becoming universities, Newcastle Polytechnic nearly changed its name to the:

    City University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

    Then I think they thought about what domain name to register.

    [possibly file this under urban myths]
  • Indeed. As they say in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, you have to go through Blue Balls and Intercourse to reach Paradise.

  • One of the TWs I mentored at a previous job was from there, and went home there. She pronounced it dooBOYSS with a sibilant S.

    (Hey, Jennifer! Are you and Jeff reading Slashdot these days?)

  • Federal Paranoia Institute
  • Remember "Nixon is a Cox shucker"? (referring to Archibald Cox).
  • Not to mention Slippery Rock and Hotchkiss.
  • the name itself reduces the interest of possible students by 30% according to the college's market research data.

    Probably not good for their finances, but it strikes me that the student who is willing to overlook a possibly funny name in the college is a lot more valuable than the Beavis and Butthead reject who says "Huh huh huh, he said beaver". Also, it seems that there should be several sites that help you screen colleges on different criteria (school size, undergrad only, student/faculty ratio, location, etc).

    This all reminds me of the episode of "The Simpsons" I saw last night. Bart was talking with the school superintendant who gave his bio (as I remember it) "I grew up in Queens, attended Ball State before I moved to Intercourse Pensylvania ... Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going on vacation to Lake Titicaca". And this man grew up to be the school superintendant!!

  • Yes, they're all ways to do it. But, since my hypothetical Californian doesn't know anything about Beaver College, she doesn't have any reason to make a special effort to investigate it. She's sifting through a list of 150 colleges chosen from a first glance through the monster book; she's got to drop 145 of them, and it doesn't make sense to spend research time on one that's more difficult to research instead of the other 149. And so, Beaver College gets dropped.

    Anyway, it's only one of several reasons mentioned (not the "determining factor") in addition to jokes and the fact that the name itself reduces the interest of possible students by 30% according to the college's market research data.

    Steven E. Ehrbar
  • That was me. Darn that "post anonymously" button. (In mozilla it looks like it is active. Click it, then submit, only to see that the depressed button became a checkmark. Whoops. Used to netscape, I guess.)

  • My favourite is fictional; Medieval England, Iowa (Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey). At least I hope it's fictional.
  • Not to mention how much faster the 'Net will be for the rest of us...
  • Yes, the major part of the story was the recognition thing, BUT the part that's relevant to /. is the filtering part. That's probably why the filtering part was mentioned.
  • sorry if you went or go there, but we had the same jokes about Ball State University [].

    I *do* want a Beaver t-shirt, before they change their name

  • Fortunately, researching colleges (something I did fairly recently) does not require the internet at all. Otherwise, we would further depress the chances of people who start life impoeverished of reciveing the education they need to better themselves.

    But as to how you can learn about Beaver College from California -
    1 Just write to them
    2 Buy one of the monstrous books that lists every college in the known universe
    3 check the box on the PSAT or SAT or ACT that says (loosely) "I want junk mail"
    4 Look at the resources your school has. In my experience, they have information from just about everywhere.
    The Web is an invaluable resource for researching colleges. I know it helped me figure out where I want to go. But when particular people's access to your website is a determining factor in _changing the name of your college_ maybe we are relying a little to much on it.

    Sam TH
  • While you did enough research to find that article, you didn't have the time to read the one this story is about. If you had, you would have noticed that Beaver has admitted men since 1973.
    Sam TH
  • Well, the bates address is my old email. I first registered with slashdot quite a while ago (#10819), so it reflects my email as of then, which I haven't bothered to change, since it still works. I suspect you don't care, but I'm responding anyway.
    Sam TH
  • I actually had a friend who went to Beaver college for a year. And one time when I was visiting, I noticed that one of the schools main signs had been altered by some students to read Beavis College.

    Guess you had to be there for it to be funny...

  • <I>Beaver all girls school is just too easy a joke. I don't think I could say it with a straight face.</I>

    Maybe not today. But if you had to say it over and over you'd get tired of the joke quickly. And then - no problem!

    Don't care too much about what others think.
  • It's interesting to see that Intercourse is not too far from Buyertown. Coincidence? I think not.....
  • C'mon, at least give Futurama the credit that they're due. (People kept making fun of the name of planet Uranus, so they changed the planet's name to fix the problem. New name: Urectum.)

  • College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

    Now that's an applicable name for a university.

    Just to be sure I am not passing judgement on the activities of students at the university, but I can understand if someone does based on this peculiar name.

  • There's a Boring, Oregon...

    gues what, it's boring...
  • I saw that, I just forgot. It's even in the Slashdot synopsis. Anyway, Beaver All-Girls College is funny, Beaver Coed College is not.

    CNN's bit on the South Park school thing [].


  • Arizona's got Wet Beaver Creek []... now tell me that wasn't a joke.
  • "Beaver all girls collage" eh... damn, I think the President or whatever has the right Idea. The joke is just waiting to be made...

    [ c h a d &nbsp o k e r e ] []
  • Oh please. This post really goes to show that all you lemmings who drool on everyword from the Slashdot crew really don't understand one damn thing about web filtering. Trust me I work in the industry and most of the info posted about web filtering software on this place is pure BS. This is just the worst case of yellow journalism I've seen in a while.
  • What did Exxon spend to find a name that would offend no one and was not an obscene or negative word in any language?
  • I used to live in Skiatook, Oklahoma.
  • I'm from central PA. The towns go, in order from northwest to southeast, from:

    Blue Ball, to
    Bird in Hand, to
    Intercourse, to

    There are very tasteful "I [heart] Intercourse" bumper stickers at tourist traps.

    Also, they're towns noted for their Amish populations.
  • We're had problems in the UK with Compuserve and AOL banning Scunthorpe (letters 2-5 are the key), then there's Cockermouth and so-on. The problem doesn't lie with the words, it lies with idiotic filters.
  • Indeed, I dearly recall `Impeach the Cox sacker!' It was sweet to greet his image with it on his last announcement to the country, the night he resigned, as we listened from the balcony of my school's student center. My mother in law, recently come from Australia, at the time couldn't understand what we saw in him that called for such response; it was an unmixed joy to have helped bring him down.

    Flames accepted as fuel for the alchemical furnace. Yes he changed relations among the great world powers; I'm just glad he was dumb enough to record his office.
  • Dude, um, the Philly Inquirer isn't really a step up from the National Enquirer. I mean, last week, they did the entire front page on the who wants to marry a mkillionare thing. Entire front page. It's not a newspaper, it might not be a tabloid, it's passable as a fishwrapper. Not that I don't like it or anything :)

    itachi, who seems to have wandered off topic a bit
  • And I would say that it would be utterly stupid for them to even think about changing it.
    I recall that there's about 6000 languages and dialects in the world. Now, possibly every word you can think of means something ... uhm, juicy in one of it. ;-) For instance - ebay in many east-european languages will mean exactly 'fuck' also. So now what?
    Or say, do you remember a story here on /. about some brittish South Park College?

    PS: BTW, what does 'byte' mean in french? Why do they use 'octet'?
  • A few years ago colleges in the UK were allowed rename themselves as universities. One memorable near name change was when Newcastle-upon-Tyne College planned to rename itself "City University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne", until some spoilsport pointed out the unfortunate acronym.

    Two media companies (Carlton Communications (TV) and United Media (Newspapers)) merged recently. The original proposed name: Carlton-United Newspapers and Television. Strangely, that was shelved too...
  • I checked up the story. It was AOL's filtering software.

  • Yes, but it is takes web censorship before the consider changing.

    As they were "Founded in 1853" and all of this time
    they had no changed there name, they are obviously not concerned about jokes being made of them.
  • I guess changing their name to Beaver College, from Beaver Female Seminary <snort>, just wasn't good enough.
  • The local newspaper in this town is called The Oakville Beaver [].

    No one seems to have a problem with the name... but the paper sucks. (I used to deliver it ages ago.)

  • I go to Penn State, and I live in Beaver Hall, which isn't that far from Beaver Stadium, and East Beaver Avenue. Everyone makes fun of me when I tell them I live in Beaver Hall, oh well, I don't care (and I am not kidding either)....

    Well, being an MIT grad student, I actually am a beaver. So beat that.

    Go Beavers!

  • They should just post links saying "click on the banner ad above" and get it over with already.

    On the other side of the coin, it's thanks to Slashdot that I know about things like Junkbuster and Intermute - so I'm blissfully banner-free. Self imposed web censorship! I love it!
  • Must be some Amercian Colloquialism.

    Like the word "fanny" being a cuter form of "butt"?
  • In response to growing demands by the public and its students, beaver college reported today that they were switching from a per credit tuition fee to a monthly, all you can learn tuition structure.

    The administration also said that they would offer year long "memberships" for a 10% discount.

    Said the administration "seeing the sucess of the subscription model in other ventures, we can only go up from here."
  • Ah, but don't forget Virginville, PA

    My grandfather got himself a shirt:

    "I went to Virginville, but I stayed at Intercourse"

  • That's hillarious. They'd rather have the town change its name than add word delimiter recognition or an exception.

    And these people actually stay in business!
  • by suky ( 59722 )
    Oregon's state animal is the beaver, there's even one on the back of the flag. Heck, Oregon State University is home to "The Beavers" sports teams. I wonder if they'll eventually filter out the state and university's websites..
  • Driving from Las Vegas to Denver we always joke that we have reached the "Filmore-Beaver Valley" in Utah.

    (sigh) if only

  • Far from being a joke, Beaver College has a real quandry here. Something that readers who weren't liberal arts majors might not know is that they're said to be the biggest study-abroad program in the U.S., and changing their name could dilute or kill that "brand" in order to save the school itself.
    The real enrollment is tiny (though I know someone who actually went there! Hi, Sally!) but the quantity of students from other schools that pass through the Beaver College programs is enormous: I did, my dentitst's receptionist's kid did, lots of random people do. That means that the larger of the two communities they serve is at risk with the name change ("Now where's that Beaver College that we used to use...?") -- but the smaller community is the whole reason for the larger community's existence.
    As someone pointed out, it's a shame that the Beavis & Butthead crew lowest common denominator rules. I guess the idiot population finally passed the 50%/critical-mass mark...
    I feel kind of bad for kids with a Beaver College diploma -- but I still bought a hat when I visited campus 'cause it says Beaver across the front.
  • If memory serves, there is a female dorm at dennison college in Ohio that is named "Beaver Hall". The jokes about it were few, but appropriate.
  • On that note, while at mardi gras a couple years back I saw a street barrier which had been defaced so it said N.O. P.D. -- All Warez. I have to admit, I was amused.
  • Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the Philadelphia Inquirer is the major Philadelphia newspaper. It's real. It does *NOT* have articles regarding the end of the world, elvis, or how to lose 30 pounds in 30 minutes.
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    First, why is Slashdot linking to the Inquirer? I know it's gotten bad here, but... Oh well, there's always the Weekly World News, right?

    Second, what web filter would look for "Beaver" as a word to block? What about all the legitimate "Beaver" sites out there about little furry creatures who like to "get wood" and chew on it?

    Feel free to change the name of your college; it's a dumb name. However, think about your reasons.

    What could be stupider than letting a word-matching computer with the brains of a spell-checker on prozac decide what content you allow yourself and others to see?

    That's about as smart as reading all your text files with 'grep -v [blahblahblah]'!
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • by Danse ( 1026 )

    Those are the kinds of wackos that will be deciding what kids get to see on the net?! Methinks we're quite screwed if this stuff becomes too widespread.

  • My personal favorite (especially since I have gone around it many times) is Detour, MD []
  • Maybe is people were willing to do more research than just look at the fancy graphics in choosing a college, this would not be such a severe problem.

    Except, of course, that the research probably won't even include Beaver College as a possibility unless you have the Web. I'm willing to bet that 99.9% of Californians don't know anything about Beaver College (except maybe the name) and also don't know any alumni from the school. So how would one determine if one even wanted to bother to call up the college to send some literature?

    What the Web does is put all those thousands of college brouchures on the web, which makes starting with a larger pool of possibilities easier. Otherwise, you're stuck investigating a handful of schools with national reputations and a handful of schools geographically close enough for you to have heard of them, instead of finding the small college on the other side of the country that fits your needs perfectly.

    Steven E. Ehrbar
  • Normal, IL. It is just too funny to go through there and see the cop cars that say NORMAL POLICE riding around town.

    Try New Orleans -- their police cars, barriers, etc are all labeled:

    N.O. {logo here} P.D.


  • is that with talk about sexual matters still taboo in many places, people have always resorted to 'double talk', suggestive language and innuendo, speaking 'martian' etc - you catch my drift? I heard That! Often it's not what you say but how you say it. So even the phrase 'hard disk' can have an obscene meaning if it's used with a wink and a nudge, say no more, say no more. All filters can do, at best, even with a huge ammount of sociological research going on every day to keep up with latest language trends in the singles and bar scene, etc. is just block trendy words that have taken on another subtle meaning to those 'in the know', and damn those who are stuck with a domain name in the older sense of the word. I might have a very happy web site for children who have a 'gay' old time like the Flintstones, and then suddenly I'm being blocked because some censorware has decided that ANYTHING with that term in it is inappropriate and offensive, and there goes my click-thru rate and ad revenue.
  • dude, "pair" of beavers?

    Mebbe you guys down think that beaver means
    something different than what Canadians mean. We
    do have alot of beaver here so we knows what we
    talks about. ;)

    (note the plural is the same as the singular. *AHEM*)

  • I would hope that they keep the name and not cave in to the drooling segment of society that considers "Beavis & Butthead" to be high art.
  • Perhaps we can use a situation like this to eventually get sites filtered.

    Just start using common web names in derogatory ways.

    "First he told me to lick his msn hole and then he unzipped his fly and started waving his amazon around. Next thing you know he'll be trying to have sex with mpaa's."

    Hey, it's a thought...

    Educational sig-line: Choose rhymes with lose. Chose rhymes with goes. Loose rhymes with goose.
  • Seriously though, can you imagine how much money and manhours it will cost to change the name of a college?

    Not as much as you might think. Things like viewbooks get reprinted every year anyway, and letterhead, business cards, envelopes, etc. are all consumable supplies.

    My alma mater (Albertson College of Idaho) changed its name from The College of Idaho my senior year there -- and expense wasn't really a consideration (given the amount Joe Albertson had donated to the institution in the sixty years since he attended, the cost of the unilateral decision to change the name to honor him was trivial). The bigger issues were tradition (a big deal at small privated colleges, it had been "The College of Idaho" since its inception, back when Caldwell was still called "Bugtown") and development (would naming the instituion after Albertson discourage other donors? It appears the answer to that has been an overwhelming "no."). If anything, it (the name change) has been a boon, since it has effectively eliminated confusion regarding whether or not it is a public institution (no) and which school it actually is (people often confused it with the University of Idaho, in Moscow, where I went to grad school).

    They will have to buy and design new uniforms for all athletics and everything else that contains the Beaver logo.

    Though I couldn't find it on their website, I sincerely suspect their mascot isn't the "Beaver Beavers" -- if anything, it appears from the design that they are the "Beaver Gargoyles", which is in-and-of-itself more-than-mildly suggestive! Once again, though, I'd like to point out that schools typically change athletic uniforms every couple years anyway, as a minimum.

    This is my opinion and my opinion only. Incidentally, IANAL.

  • "The problem is, they're changing their name to the College of Bearded Clams."
  • My favorite? Jersey Shore, right there in the middle of the state....
  • This [] is sort of a lame article, but it was a school named South Park, changing its name because it didn't want to be associated with the show.

    Then again, they DO have a point -- Beaver all girls school is just too easy a joke. I don't think I could say it with a straight face.


  • I currently live in Beaver County [] (which is outside of Pittsburgh), which has it's own Community College of Beaver County []. There is also a Big Beaver [] Falls School District.

    I grew up attending Hempfield Area [] Senior High School, although interestingly, kids never seemed to make fun of that name.

    Sorry, but it seems silly to rename a school simply because people might make fun of it. Can you imagine everyone named Dick [] or Randy [] deciding to have their names changed? If all the Dicks in the world can live with it, then I think a college can certainly live with it.

  • People who don't make an effort at choosing a college generally go to one they've already heard of, usually a nearby school (of all the graduates from a given HS that attend college, it's not unusual for 90% of those attend the same college (or one of 2-3 colleges)) .

    However, if I were shopping for a college, I would give their website a thorough look, since you can see a lot of really great stuff: course materials, office hours, reading lists, etc.

    And I would be very leary of a school that appered to have no web page (but for a CS school that would be pretty sad).

    But I doubt that there are many good schools that can't find enough qualified students each year. They just like to have lots of applications because:
    1) With more apps to choose from, they might get 'better' students.
    2) One common measure of a schools worth (I said common, not fair or accurate) is how many applicatins they get per open slot.
    3) They get 30-50 bucks per undergad application , 50-100 for grad and up to 200 per app for med school! KA-CHING!
  • A couple of years ago many filters blocked pages with reference to the town of Scunthorpe (due to substring at index 1-4). I don't know why the software couldn't check for spaces around the blocked words, but Scunthorpe council got quite annoyed. They complained to one of the firms producing the software and the reply was that they ought to change the name of the town to Sconthorpe. Caused quite a stir...

  • You think edus don't have porn? Edus probably host the largest concentration of teenage males with web sites on the net. Beware *

  • I had a public speaking gig in Portland Maine in Oct '98 where I spoke to the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations. One of the Marketing folk told me over dinner that they were having serious problems with filter software blocking their College's site (Middlesex Community College). They speculated that it was because the name "sex" was in their name and asked me what they could do about getting unblocked.

    I found it hard to believe at the time that a site would be banned simply for having the letters s-e-x WITHIN a word. But these days, nothing surprises me when it comes to these filters.

    I told them that these things have really stupid rules for determing which sites to block and the only thing they really could do is change the name of their college since attempting to find every version of filter software out there and getting their site unblocked would be time consuming and probably futile.


  • You think edus don't have porn? Edus probably host the largest concentration of teenage males with web sites on the net. Beware *

    First, this is irrelevent since the issue was about TLDs not porn. Why should beaver have stricter blocking applied to it then the rest of the .edus?

    Second, I doubt that the censorware blocks much of the dorm room stuff.

    BTW> I really hope Beaver Collage dose not let the censorware make them change their name. Collages should take a stand against this kind of shit.
  • "First, why is Slashdot linking to the Inquirer? I know it's gotten bad here, but... Oh well, there's always the Weekly World News, right? "

    I'm assuming you're joking and that you do know that the Philidelphia Inquirer (spelling) is different then the National Enquirer.

    You never can be too sure.


    "What could be stupider than letting a word-matching computer with the brains of a spell-checker on prozac decide what content you allow yourself and others to see? "

    Beurocratic (sp) legislation regarding Library filtering these legit sites. Lazy parents. Republicans (sorry, just kidding, kinda). Stupider things abound. I have to deal with stupid people every day.

    They're called normal people.

    What should happen is for another debate. I, of course, think these programs are ineffective and of questionable morality. But what this school decides is important.

    I mean, if I'm doing a report on beaver migration and dam building, is the library going to block that? What about my (hypothetical) lazy parents who bought SurfWatch(or whatever) in leiu of spending time with me. Or what if I'm looking for the TV schedule of Two Angry Beavers? Whatever.

    Changing the name of the college may allow them to get back on the "Good" side of a bad-site-blocker program, but it sets a bad example.

    Do we change our names every time something bad can be made of them? Should we?

    It's just another "proof" against filtering software which is something stupid people want.

    So, is there anything stupider than the program? Yes. The people who want it.

  • Could be worse. My alma mater, Wichita State University, during my undergraduate time there, changed their name to The Wichita State University. Their SLD is now They did this, I guess, because of Washburn State University, Washington State University, etc.

    Needless to say, during the conversion, there was much ado made of the change.

    Such stupid behavior for an alleged institute of higher learning....

  • Since potential students can't reach their website, what would keep them from filing a civil law suit against the censoring companies?
  • Have you ever been to New York and listened to the working-class locals? We already have one!
  • I go to Penn State, and I live in Beaver Hall, which isn't that far from Beaver Stadium, and East Beaver Avenue. Everyone makes fun of me when I tell them I live in Beaver Hall, oh well, I don't care (and I am not kidding either)....

    I don't really see a particularily good point in changing the name. I don't think they should accomodate some crappy censoring program, it should be the other way around, that is what is wrong with censorware.

  • Must be some Amercian Colloquialism.

    I'm British, and have never been to the US, and beaver has been acceptable slang for female genitalia for as long as I can remember.
  • The problem with names is that any name, no matter how well intentioned, will be made fun of, eventually. Especially if people want to.

    Ever been in a group of people where someone decides that it is fun to find and make fun of the sexual connotation in whatever anyone else says? Ever notice how s/he is able to do this with virtually every sententence? It will always be true.

    Even if, at the extreme, a mascot or team was replaced with something so arbitrary as a number, people would find ways to make fun of it. 69, anyone?

    My point is that unless the name or mascot is offensive and dated, like the Cleveland Indians Chief Wahoo, it should not be changed, as whatever new thing that is created will be at least as easy, if not easier than what was there before. And some filters block the term "beaver"? It makes the blocking of "soccer" seem almost... not completely insane?
  • Actually, that's an AP article, not something that a local reporter wrote. You can find the same article on MSNBC, FOX, WIRED and any major news network that subscribes to the AP. Hell, check your own newspaper today and you'll probably find it.

  • should pursue every maker of censorware that blocks their pages. They block legitimate pages, legitimate universities .. and so forth.
    Perhaps you mean []? The site [] is something totally different.
    Not what you think, though.


  • I think the school ought to sue the software companies whose software filters them out. :-)
  • by Romen ( 10819 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2000 @09:31PM (#1233065) Homepage
    Everyone's friend Jon Katz notwithstanding, maybe this is a sign that the Internet is not always a liberating force. I suspect that the name calling hasn't changed much in a long time, but the _neccessity_ of a high-visibility web site in the college admissions business is certainly a recent development. Maybe is people were willing to do more research than just look at the fancy graphics in choosing a college, this would not be such a severe problem. (Maybe that's a little harsh)

    Aside from that, blocking an entire domain that is obviously legitamate is just so ludicrous that it suggests that the people writing this software simply have no intelligence, in addition to not having a clue. Unbelieveable. (shakes head)

    Sam TH
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2000 @11:09PM (#1233066)
    The article itself mentions the problems with filtering software, but that is not the main focus - I mean after all, how many people are really not going to see the college web page because of filtering software?

    It does mention numerous non-internet related problems - a 30% less appealing rate to prospective students not because of blocking, but simply because people would be embarassed to say they were going to school there. Even worse (and also part of the problem) - graduates from the school are deciding to not include the name of thier college due to fear of rejection by employers.

    They are voting to decide if they want to change the name, so at least the students have a say - perhaps they could change it to "Dam Mammal". I know I wouldn't mind saying I had graduated from "Dam Mammal". If you pronounce it with a French accent it sounds quite distinguished!
  • by radja ( 58949 ) on Thursday March 02, 2000 @01:34AM (#1233067) Homepage
    whoa! Nice pair of universities!

  • by acarlisle ( 96757 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2000 @10:08PM (#1233068)

    The actual Inquirer web site is here [], and the actual article is here [].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 01, 2000 @10:03PM (#1233069)
    NPR did an interview with one of the "Media Representatives" from Beaver College today, and the sexual connotations of beaver was one of only three reasons that beaver was problematic. The web filtering part is just not that big of a deal; they are more concerned that people associate "beaver" with weak or silly. (One poll they did found that 30 percent of applicants wouldn't even apply because they didn't like or respect the name) Not everything everywhere happens because of the 'Net.
  • by Frac ( 27516 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2000 @09:57PM (#1233070)
    But the names of the colleges mentioned are hilarious as hell:

    Beaver College

    Ball State University (Ball U, BSU for short)

    Morehead University (yes please)

    The word 'beaver' too often elicits ridicule in the form of derogatory remarks pertaining to the rodent, the TV show Leave It to Beaver and the vulgar reference to the female anatomy," Beaver president Bette E. Landman lamented in a letter sent Feb. 15 to alumni, parents, staff and students.

  • by debreuil ( 93559 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2000 @11:18PM (#1233071) Homepage
    They have caved in and picked a new name, I guess selling the old domain was worth a lot more than the cost of changing the letterhead. So for school year 2001, it will be officially know as U of Pussy. From rodent to feline. Wow.
  • by summdood ( 157002 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2000 @09:43PM (#1233072)
    Keep the name and put up 20-50 web cams all over campus (and dorms of course). With the ca$h they'll make tuition could be free!
  • by mosch ( 204 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2000 @10:04PM (#1233073) Homepage

    Pennsylvania is known for all it's silly and slightly odd town names. I mean while you're visiting Beaver College [] drive through Amish country and go to Intercourse [], if you run out of gas before you get there, you'll end up in Blue [] Ball []. Oh, and if you're worried about anti-drug web censorship then don't mention that you're from Smoketown [] or Pottstown [].

    I hope my point is clear.

  • I've got an idea - let's make a very reputable university - MIT, Yale, Harvard, and the like - change their name. We can use the Internet to let people know that we, society, have chosen to use the word "Harvard" as a slang word for female genatalia. Before too long, 20% of prospective studentds will turn Harvard down simply because of the name!

    So, next time you see a cute girl walk by, be sure to say to your friends, "I'd like to see the Harvard on that!"

  • by arcade ( 16638 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2000 @10:35PM (#1233075) Homepage
    First of, there is nothing new in censorware malfunctioning like this. There is nothing new that censorware block sites they shouldn't. Take a look at [] for lots of examples. should pursue every maker of censorware that blocks their pages. They block legitimate pages, legitimate universities .. and so forth.

    Furthermore, I read that the inquerier article "promoted" cybersitter from solid oak software. Well, take a look at the aforementioned peacefire site. Solid Oak software don't want criticism. They block every page that critizises their software. Like [] which has delivered quite a lot of criticism.

    Not to mention. I wrote to solid oak once, and told them my opinion about them blocking peacefire, and that I would NOT buy any form of product from them, as long as they had that kind of attitude. You know what the jerks did? Heck, they mailed my abuse@department. The funny thing is .. I *am* my abuse department. When I answered to their complaint that they were being childish, and that they should stop sending *fake* abuse-messages (complaining about SPAM? When I send them opinions and feedback?). The freaking head of solidoak answered that they had sent the case to the "FPI" for investigation (I have a feeling that the nutcase have some problems with writing "fbi" or something ;)

    Ohwell. Enough ranting.

    "Rune Kristian Viken" - - arcade@efnet
  • by alexhmit01 ( 104757 ) on Thursday March 02, 2000 @01:56AM (#1233076)
    Between this and the LophtCrack article, it is getting rediculous. Everytime there is a mention of something that could be connected to something the "hacker community" doesn't like, we get a yellow journalistic story.

    Beaver College is considering changing it's name because alumni are being discredited and recruiting is hurt because of it. That is a SERIOUS problem for a institution of higher learning. The web filtering stuff was kinda a flippant icing on the cake, yet the story here would appear that it is a major part of the story.

    The Lopht crack story involved someone charged with using it for committing computer crimes, and one of the minor charges was possession of burglary equipment. That is kinda like charging a double homicide defendent with 2 charges of murder, 2 charges of assault with a deadly weapon, and one charge of illegal possession. Clearly the murder and assault w/ a deadly weapon are the REAL charges, but the minor one is throw in.

    Can the "editors" please READ the articles? If it is real, consider it, if it is yellow press by someone more concerned with getting a story line on slashdot than reporting really news, kill the story. This discredits slashdot, and is kinda silly, because a lot of the posts are people like me complaining.

All laws are simulations of reality. -- John C. Lilly