Text Box: Bughouse, the NEIU on-line conferencing board which emerged briefly in 2001, has returned to campus, at http://bughouse.
neiu.edu. It’s a web-based meeting place for NEIU students, faculty, and staff, designed and created by professor Erick Howenstine from Geography & Earth Sciences and student Cameron Rex, also from G&ES. 
The board delivers forums, a calendar of events, polls, announcements, a chat room, instant messaging, customizable profiles, avatars, and more. It is open only to NEIU community members by way of a quick “@neiu.edu” verification upon registration.
The project is an elaborate revision of a two-month experiment launched by Howenstine in 2001, which ended when both its popularity and the need for greater control became evident. That board was entirely anonymous. The new program allows users to be anonymous to one another, as before; true identities are known to the board moderator but kept under tight security. 
Rex and Howenstine worked on the new Bughouse through Fall 2003, won the approval of NEIU administration, and released it to students Jan.12, 2004. Within a month it had received 345 posts in 106 topics by 86 users.
“Our goal is to provide a forum for the kinds of discussions that take place in the cafeterias, dorms, and neighborhood establishments surrounding a residential campus,” said Howenstine, who is the faculty advisor for the project. The need for intervention by the paid student moderator should be minimal, because any user may build a personal "ignore list" with which to completely screen out offendsive messages from others. Users may also alert the moderator when necessary simply by touching a blue button, and habitual abusers may be permanently banned from the board, if necessary.

Bughouse: An On-line Meeting Place for the NEIU Community

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