Monday’s arrest of freshman Samuel Davies, 18, for posting threatening comments to the social media application Yik Yak brought issues of police involvement on campus and anonymity with social media to the forefront of campus discussion.
“Fellow Yaks,” one of his Yaks read, “you all seem like good people and I care for you, so if you read this, please stay in your dorms or off campus next Wednesday, I care too much for you all to fall victim of the event.”
UCAPD was right to not take this issue lightly. Acting quickly to make sure threats are properly investigated and controlled is not only an appropriate approach, but the kind our campus deserves.
UCAPD sent a campus-wide announcement at 11:44 a.m. Oct. 5 to inform students about the incident, which was the correct move for the department.
However, while UCAPD did alert the UCA community, the alert was vague, leaving many students questioning what had happened. Some said they felt more frightened than they were previously.
The email said the situation had been remedied, but did not specify what the situation was. In an instance such as this, students needed to know the entire story to properly process the situation.
UCAPD also posted about the incident on its website and Twitter page, replying to students who had questions and concerns. This aptly illustrated the department’s continued success in fostering an environment that encourages students to come to them with issues and questions. Having officers who are easy to approach by students is important to the safety of any campus and an importance UCAPD recognizes.
This incident also brings to the spotlight the issue of anonymity, or lack thereof, in social media.
Students must realize that anonymity does not exist in the digital age.
This article originally appeared in the Oct. 7, 2015 print edition of The Echo.
image via Twitter