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Fakebook: Seniors Say Facebook Name Changes Are Tradition,

More Than Meets the Eye: Students use deceptive tricks to hide themselves from colleges. |Photo Dramatizations by Annie Nelson '11

To most Staples seniors, their final year means guaranteed on-campus parking spots, creative senior T-shirts and sweatshirts, a stressful, college application filled autumn, and ridiculous names on Facebook.

Many think that seniors change their name on Facebook because they believe it will hide sensitive material from college admissions officers who supposedly check seniors’ Facebook profiles.

“Although that is the main reason I changed my name in the first place, I don’t think most kids have met someone who was rejected from a school for having something inappropriate on their Facebook,” said Luke Chunovic ’11, now known as Luck Chunun Nunun on Facebook.

“It’s just something we do for fun, that was born from more practical roots.”

According to The College and Career Center most colleges do not look on Facebook to browse wall posts, photos and status updates. Because of this, Facebook name changes have become a senior tradition.

“I basically just changed my name for fun and because some of my friends were [changing their names],” said Freja Andrews ’11, now known as Frayuh And-Roos on Facebook. “Applying to college didn’t really have anything to do with my decision.”

Likewise, most college representatives who come to Staples say they do not have time to check the Facebook profiles of their applicants and does not play a role in the admission process, Susan Fugitt of The College & Career Center said.

“If we are not directed [to their Facebook profile] by the student then we won’t check,” said Vanderbilt College regional admissions officer Ken Shows.

Vanderbilt admissions officers understand they don’t have enough time to check the Facebook page of every applicant. To make the process as fair as possible, officers only evaluate the items applicants want them to see, Shows said.

Last year, the College & Career Center had over 200 college representatives come to Staples for college visits. Of those 200, only one school said it would occasionally check an applicant’s Facebook profile, Shauna Flaherty of the College & Career Center said.

“They don’t bother,” Fugitt said. “They don’t have the time.”

But to be cautious and avoid any possible college admission controversies, Flaherty suggested students delete their Facebook accounts during the college application process.

“If not, be aware of what’s on it. Be very wary of what’s on your Facebook,” Flaherty said.

With many college admission officers not concerned with Facebook profiles and many students lackadaisical to college admission officers checking their accounts Facebook name changes have become a high school senior fad more than anything else.

Yet, there are some students who change their Facebook name because they both want to follow the fad and be protected just in case colleges do check Facebook profiles.

“I originally changed my name as a joke, but then it seemed to be a good thing to do just in case colleges were to check my Facebook,” said Gabe Block ’11, now known as Bilbo Wagons to the Facebook community.

Ben Aldrich ’11, who changed his name to Béeen Farles on Facebook, agrees that changing his Facebook name both keeps in line with a senior tradition and protects him from the eyes of college admission officers.

“I changed my name because I have pictures that I don’t want colleges I am going to apply to see,” Aldrich said.

After learning most colleges do not check an applicant’s Facebook account, Aldrich said he would change his Facebook name back to his legal name. He has not yet done so.

“It is something of a tradition and it’s fun to be a part,” Aldrich said.

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