By KATIE KELLY
Today, Nov. 17, at 2:30 p.m., a series of racist Yik Yak posts were shared with the Lewis & Clark community. These messages, which were subsequently taken off of Yik Yak, can be seen at the right of this article.
Yik Yak is a mobile app that allows users to post comments anonymously around their geographic location and has been a platform previously used to promote hate speech on campus.
These comments were posted three days after the Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies. The last event of the symposium was Race Monologues, where students of color shared their feelings, experiences and thoughts on race, ethnicity and identity.
After the Yik Yak comments were posted today, students gathered to organize and check in on their community members’ safety.
“At four o’clock [Feminist Student Union (FSU)] coordinators were made aware of the threats made on Yik Yak,” Sydni Brooks ’18, coordinator of the FSU, said. “We went to the [Black Student Union (BSU)]. BSU members were contacting friends trying to make sure that everyone was safe. A lot of people started showing up to show their support. The goal was to make sure that all black students on this campus were safe. Literally calling friends, picking them up, bringing them to the BSU. Soon a lot of people were gathered, ready to help and stand in solidarity. Accomplices [sic] were then being directed towards the Council Chamber, while black students gathered in IME.”
People learned about the threats in various ways. Some, like Brooks, were notified directly, most others learned through social media and mass emails sent to the LC community by ASLC president, Daniela Lopez ’16, BSU, FSU, the Provost Office, and a few others groups on-campus.
“I went into the Bon and I saw the signs,” Taylor Walters ’18, a participant in the discourse in Council Chamber, said. “I was a little bit confused; I didn’t know it was happening at Lewis & Clark. But then I saw that people were posting on Facebook and gathering in the Council Chamber to discuss what happened.”
Students gathered in Council Chamber around 5 p.m. For the next five hours, they discussed how to post on social media and reach out beyond LC campus, as well as reflect on the event and the emotions sparked by it. The rally will occur at J.R. Howard Hall at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning, Nov. 18. This rally is a collaboration of various LC students, with no affiliation to any organized student group on-campus.
The rally tomorrow will be a specific demonstration of students standing in solidarity with the black students on this campus who feel unsafe.
Tomorrow’s rally will be live-tweeted by the Pioneer Log.
*The Pioneer Log has edited the article to exclude the word “accomplices,” a word that carries negative connotations. The word that best fits our intended meaning is “allies.” We apologize for this lapse in judgment.