This past week, SGA senators voted for a new senate leader and also for the resolution to remove the app “Yik Yak” from St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s internet servers.
The senate leader elections were held this Tuesday Oct. 18 in Schaefer Hall at the usual Tuesday night student government association. The SGA acts as a liaison between the students and the college administration, charters and funds all campus clubs and organization, and plans campus events. The candidates this past Tuesday were Megan Johnson and Justin Hoobler. Megan Johnson is a senior, townhouse senator, and worked with public safety for two years. Her candidacy speech included her goals to represent every student, especially students of color. Justin Hoobler, a sophomore and Caroline senator, listed his qualifications and experience for senate leader. Justin Hoobler won the senate leader seat with a very close count.
Other elections were for positions for commuter senator, Lewis Quadrangle senator, and class of 2017 officer. Zach Walker was voted LQ senator, Zoe Hammet and Jonathan Hunt for commuter senators, and Adriane Azucena as the secretary and Yonah Zeitz as historian for class of 2017. These new senators will join the current SGA Senate for the remainder of the school semester.
The senators also voted for the most anticipated resolution which was to ban the popular app “Yik Yak” from SMCM servers. The resolution was passed by SGA on Tuesday with prolonged applause and relief from voters. Only one senator voted “Nay”, another one abstained, and the rest voted in favor of the ban.
On the community letters regarding the resolution, SGA student trustee, Vera Damanka, explained her frustration with how the issue was being handled by saying, “As a student leader and campus advocate, I’m still struggling to understand why we need to gather the opinions of those who are unaffected when there are human beings who are deeply hurting. It’s not a question of free speech; it’s about freedom from harm. It’s not about legality anymore; it’s about liability and the responsibility we have to our students. The app may very well be dead; but if getting rid of it served as nothing more than posthumous retribution for those who have been hurt by it in the past, I would still consider it worthwhile.”
Another student, Kathleen Carmean wrote, “Banning Yik Yak is the right thing to do. No one should have to live in a community where he or she feels threatened. It’s unfortunate that Yik Yak has been continually used for negative messages instead of positive ones.”