Stronger with Saint Mary’s
Observer Editorial Board | Friday, September 24, 2021
Following the results of a football ticket lottery for the Shamrock Series football game on Saturday, harmful, hateful messages surged on the anonymous social media platform Yik Yak. These comments were mainly aimed at Saint Mary’s students who had won tickets to attend the game.
Yik Yak is a social media platform that allows users to share anonymous messages with others within a 5-mile radius. Due to the signature anonymity of the platform, users are able to avoid accountability for posting offensive messages on social media. Issues with Yik Yak are not new to our community. Before the app was banned in 2017, instances of racism and bullying on the platform were common in our vicinity. Four years later, we face another controversy as a result of the anonymity Yik Yak allows.
Comments posted to the platform over the weekend insulted the intelligence of Saint Mary’s students and vilified them by comparing them to terrorist organizations. Some of them even trivialized sexual assault and suicide. These comments are horrifying and have no place in our tri-campus community.
However, Yik Yak did not create this pattern of disrespect toward Saint Mary’s students — it has just reignited one that has existed for decades now. This weekend’s events are another stark reminder of the misogyny and dissension that some at Notre Dame direct toward Saint Mary’s students, whether they’re protected by a screen or not. This culture is also evidenced by the objectification of Saint Mary’s students, whether it be on online platforms such as email chains or in conversation.
As one of the few student organizations with a tri-campus membership, we at The Observer especially recognize the meaningful contributions of our Saint Mary’s peers to the life of our community. In our newsroom, they serve as writers, copy editors, photographers, graphic designers and as leaders within the Editorial Board. Not only would our tri-campus coverage not be possible without the unique perspectives and talents Saint Mary’s students bring, but The Observer itself would not be what it is today without them.
To Saint Mary’s students: We will always stand by you. You are a valued part of this community. This place wouldn’t be the same without you.