Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

U of M probes cyberbullying on student site

  • Print
UNIVERSITY of Manitoba business dean Glenn Feltham is investigating a website created to ridicule a student dubbed "The Commerce Creeper."

More than 220 people -- some of them students at I.H. Asper School of Business -- joined the website on to ridicule a business student and share tales of his alleged attempts to pick up female students.

The website was created Feb. 22 and, by Wednesday, more than 140 messages had been posted -- though members were warning each other online that it was time to shut the site.

The website featured a photo of the targeted student, apparently taken by a cellphone camera in a classroom.

"I certainly am going to be investigating, with great speed," Feltham said Wednesday. "Bullying of students by other students is quite inappropriate.

"It is first of all certainly not professional. It is not consistent with what we want from our students, and the behaviour we expect. It is an issue we must address. We do have overall expectations as to the conduct of our students."

Feltham said the business school would quickly develop a professional code of conduct on this matter, adding that he was very disappointed that no student had come forward to him to report the website's existence.

The site was founded three years ago by university students in Cambridge, Mass., as a social network. It grew to include separate chat sites for other groups, including business corporations and, according to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, it has attracted 17 million visits worldwide and is the seventh most popular network in the U.S.

The student who created the U of M website about "The Commerce Creeper" declined to be interviewed. The student who was targeted could not be reached.

U of M officials were trying to figure out how to handle the case of cyberbullying -- an issue that has plagued junior and senior high schools in recent years.

"It sounds like something he (the targeted student) has to launch a complaint about," said U of M public affairs director John Danakas. "There is a policy on a respectful learning environment."

Taren Gesell, president of the Commerce Students Association, said he now regrets having signed on to the website shortly after it was formed and that he did not contact the dean.

"Hindsight is always 20/20. We realize now that it's something that should have been done as it was happening," Gesell said.

"The thing with facebook, it almost spreads like a virus. Obviously, it is a serious issue. We have to look at what sort of professional conduct we support," he said.

Gesell said that students who created the website might not have realized how much damage they can cause. "There is sentiment among people I've spoken to that it has gone too far."

He said the CSA would meet with Feltham "to discuss possibly implementing a professional code of conduct."

A student who provided a password for the Winnipeg Free Press to get into the site said some business students "have severely crossed an ethical boundary."

He said it is a "juvenile and vicious group" that includes members of the Commerce Students Association executive.

The student, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that is a "social networking website popular among college/university students.

"While some have even posted on the page, simply adding themselves to this group condones this behaviour and the group's existence. This is an embarrassment to the faculty of management," the student said.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 1, 2007 $sourceSection$sourcePage

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


MTS Centre a Winnipeg whiteout as NHL playoffs return after 19 years

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Young goslings are growing up quickly near Cresent Lake in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba- See Bryksa 30 Day goose project- Day 11- May 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Standup- Morning Fog. Horse prances in field by McPhillips Road, north of Winnipeg. 060605.

View More Gallery Photos


Do you think the Jets will win Game 4 on Wednesday?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google