SummaryThe Catholic Harbor community provides an amazing opportunity for students, not just to socialize, but to improve their reasoning and communication skills.
We recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of Catholic Harbor, Seton’s online social community for enrolled students (ages 13 and up). The anniversary provided an excellent occasion to look back over our first year and to see the impact the site has had for the students.
We have had 360,000 posts in the past year, 7,300 topics, and over 1,000 photos of members uploaded to our gallery. Some of our recent debates have included the topics of evolution, the moral principle of double-effect, capital punishment, and the perennial “Is Harry Potter appropriate literature for Catholics?”
While the students who participate in Catholic Harbor are incredibly active, only a small percentage of our eligible student body has joined to try it out. These debates, and the community as a whole, provide an amazing opportunity for students, not just to socialize, but to improve their reasoning and communication skills.
For those of you not familiar with Catholic Harbor, I recently heard one parent describe it as “Seton’s version of Facebook” and while it is true that it does have most of the same features of the popular social media platform, Catholic Harbor is different in some very important ways.
- It is not public and members must be actively enrolled in Seton or have graduated with Seton—but the alumni and current students are in separate groups.
- There is a large staff of student-moderators who actively remove any content that violates the rules of the community.
- The rules are truly designed to create an environment parents would be proud of. As an example, Rule #1 is: “Anything that is anti-Catholic in nature will not be tolerated.”
- Catholic Harbor is centered around actual discussions, not just pictures, links, or limited-character tweets.
Over this past year, as the Administrator of the site, I have really gotten an invaluable view of how Seton students interact with each other. I am so impressed. These students are caring, curious, fun, intelligent, and animated by a strong adherence to a life of virtue.
It gives me such a sense of hope knowing that these exemplary students will graduate from Seton soon and go out into the world, no doubt improving the lives of everyone with whom they come in contact.