In a devastating massacre on the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) campus in 2007, a total of 33 lives were lost.  Aside from the calamitous loss of lives, one of the most saddening aspects of the tragedy is that it could have been prevented.

In the article “Mining Student Data Could Save Lives,” author Michael Morris explains that universities have the ability to access student emails, student internet searches, and student social media accounts through a process called “data mining.”  By searching through this information, university officials can predict student behavior and prevent on-campus violence.

I plan to write my paper on Morris’ article because as a college student, much of what Morris explains strongly pertains to me and my peers.  I find his article very interesting because both sides of the argument (safety versus privacy) hold compelling arguments.  I hope to explore each side with the goal of determining which is more important.  Student concerns about Internet privacy (even privacy of one’s own personal email) are very legitimate, however, university officials’ interest in protecting the student body as a whole may be paramount.