Several racist statements referring to NPHC (National Pan-Hellenic Council) Greek life members on Wednesday were made on the anonymous social media app YikYak.
Statements started on the app after NPHC Greeks participated in strolling in the Carl R. Reng Student Union. Comments referring to members as “monkeys” and telling members to “get out of my union” were posted on the app.
NPHC president Keyon Atkins released a statement to address the Arkansas State University Student Body after the comments.
“Not only is it shameful and discouraging to see our peers using an anonymous app to shame and belittle us, but it also a mockery of the traditions and history behind our organizations. Behavior like this can no longer be tolerated and will no longer be tolerated by any member of NPHC. To our minority students and members of NPHC, you are loved and valued in every capacity of this campus,” Atkins said.
A-State Chancellor Kelly Damphousse also issued a statement via email addressing students, staff and faculty.
“On behalf of the entire Arkansas State University community, I condemn the recent statements of anonymous individuals on a social media app. The language and labels used by persons posting about the weekly NPHC events on campus is simply unacceptable and disgraceful. The type of statements made recently related to Black students and members of NPHC organizations are shameful and unwelcome at Arkansas State University,” Damphousse said.
Student Diversity and Recruitment also went to Instagram to release a statement. “These statements continue blatant racism and false representation of our African American community on campus. We are working diligently to further action regarding this situation. We refuse to let the viewpoints of a few ruin the image we know our school can uphold,” The post read.
NPHC Greek members participated in a Unity Stroll in the Student Union the following day. Senior Trinitee Jackson, a general studies major from Hopkinsville, Kentucky attended the march.
“We should be united all together, everybody, no matter what race you are or anything. It’s going to change one day so just keep on pushing and people eventually will understand different people,” Jackson said.
SGA released a statement on their Instagram from the Office of the President. “One great thing about A-State is being able to see different groups and organizations able to come together as one, and this was not represented in last night’s comments and posts. NPHC is a vital part of our campus culture and we value what they bring to Arkansas State.” the post said.
Despite YikYak being an anonymous app, users’ accounts are tied to their phone numbers. On YikYak’s fine print the social media app says they can disclose to the police each user’s Internet protocol address and GPS coordinates along with other details. YikYak lets students post in the app and interact with one another within a 5 mile radius.
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