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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Controversial ‘UNM Confessions’ Facebook page allows UNM students to anonymously tell their scandalous stories

news@dailylobo.com

Everything from on-campus defecation to a UNM professor’s porn stash is coming to light on Facebook.

UNM Confessions, a Facebook page created on Saturday by sophomore biochemistry student Nathan Guerra had already garnered 7,409 likes as of Wednesday night.

Anyone can anonymously submit confessions of what they’ve done on or around campus, and Guerra said he has received about 600 submissions per day so far. He reads all of them, and posts up to 80 each day.

“It’s not only the raunchy things about certain fraternities or sororities — I try and do as many funny ones as I do sad ones as I do encouraging ones,” Guerra said. “There needs to be a place for students to unwind, and people do crazy things on campus and other people like to hear about it.”

Guerra’s customized banner features the Lobo paw print, which the University said is trademarked. Administrators have asked him to remove it.

“The use of UNM trademarks, such as the official logo, Lobo paw or athletic marks does violate Facebook community standards on intellectual property, and we are working through Facebook to address this issue,” wrote Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Cinnamon Blair in an email.

Guerra recently posted on Facebook that he is looking for a new banner.

Blair said the University will not take any further action against the site.

“UNM Confessions is not an official university Facebook page, meaning that the University has no control over what content is posted there,” Blair wrote.

Although many of the posted confessions are about illegal activities, Guerra said it’s difficult to tell how many are true or not. A few have sent him photos for verification, but the majority remain unverifiable.

One post accuses a UNM professor of holding nude photos of his students on his computer. Another describes a drunks vs. highs game of Capture the Flag at night near the Duck Pond. Many describe vandalism on campus.

Guerra said he is not posting names of individuals, departments or fraternities to protect those entities from slander.

“A lot of the stuff on here I try to have integrity with,” Guerra said. “There have been a few that slipped through the cracks that I didn’t read completely and posted, but if it gets brought to my attention that somebody wants it brought down, I’ll bring it down.”

He said he will abide by the law if he is contacted by the police.
“I don’t have any problem working with authorities at UNM if they suspect anything,” Guerra said. “Although I might be the cause of the investigation, I’m not the source.”

The page has received about 1,000 likes each day. The day after Guerra posted the page, NMSU Confessions was created. An Arizona State University confessions page was created three days before the UNM page, but had only 3,938 likes as of 7:45 Thursday night.

Guerra said he helped Eastern New Mexico University start its page, and is now helping Auburn University in Alabama. Guerra hopes to turn the page into an iPhone app, and he is collaborating with multiple California universities on the project.

Guerra said he never expected the page would be so popular, and he called himself a UNM celebrity. He revealed his identity in his 450-student HBO Rome class after the professor praised the page.

“People already knew I was the one because I had to send invites with my personal Facebook,” Guerra said. “When I raised my hand, I got a standing ovation in our class, it was pretty awesome.”