STORY BY JOEY GALE
As Student Body President, I feel a need to express some of my thoughts on the Yik Yak app.
Over the past several weeks, many of us have become more aware of a social media app called Yik Yak.
As I have been observing the Drake community’s use of this app, I am disappointed at the hurtful, demeaning, racist, homophobic, bullying and general poor taste that students have displayed. Some of the posts I’ve seen are downright hurtful. This app is harming our community.
If you post something, the least I can do is ask you to consider how it will affect others. This app is being used to not only degrade the student body, but Drake University as a whole. This reflects poorly on current students, prospective students, faculty, administration and alumni.
Drake is supposed to be an inclusive community that supports each student — not to anonymously put others down.
Drake isn’t the only institution in the U.S. having problems with this app. Peer institutions like Creighton University and Elon University have expressed their concerns over the past few weeks as well.
The student body president at Creighton sent a message out to students encouraging them all to delete the app. While this was a very bold effort, I’m not sure how effective it would be at Drake. Historically, if you ban something, or encourage people to get rid of it, psychologically we become even more aware of it and drawn to it.
Look at the tale of “banned books” from libraries over the past hundreds of years. The moment you “ban” a book, it generates conversation and excitement, which leads to even more popularity. For me, I don’t care that students have the app because I know it can have positive value for our campus if used correctly. I believe it was created under good intentions.
I hope students never intend to hurt one another, and recognize the impact they are making on others. Am I asking that students delete Yik Yak? No. I’m asking, as a fellow Drake student, for us to act as respectful and responsible members of our community.