ATLANTA— Word of Swarthmore College’s proposed social justice academic requirement has reached the inboxes of the sixty employees at Yik Yak, a social media application popular amongst millennials, and the company has released a public statement denouncing the suggestion. “Our app is powered by pseudo-anonymity,” says Yik Yak representative Kamon Geiz, “which provides a platform for students to have the same debates they would have in these required courses but without fear of judgment. Institutions have no place teaching students what or how to think: instead, we need to teach them not to think at all. That should be our new motto. Don’t think. Just post. Don’t worry about grades. Worry about your Yakarma score, because that number is what’s truly indicative of your engagement with social issues.”
Yik Yak invited The Phoenix to their headquarters in Atlanta to discuss a potential counter-proposal to the social justice requirement. Their executive offices, which had a decor similar to that of the Danawell Connector, was complete with geometric carpeting, rows of computers, bean bag chairs, and Tibetan prayer flags. When asked about the prayer flags, an employee of the company explained, “we used to hang up a new prayer flag every time somebody used the app to accuse someone else of cultural appropriation, but we lost count after 6,969 because we couldn’t stop laughing. But I guess you can’t blame us. A funny number is a funny number.” The staff at Yik Yak called an official meeting at “the couch at the center of the room” to discuss their counter-proposal with The Phoenix. Kamon Geiz began the conversation by naming the specific students at Swarthmore who were “part of the problem” in trying to publicly criticize the application, claiming “we can’t have more students calling us out for ridiculous things like ‘promoting bullying.’ They need to understand that this is an issue between the Swarthmore administration and Yik Yak. And there’s no need to discuss a social justice requirement when we have social media at the tip of our fingers.” The founders of the app refused to comment on the record, but nodded their heads in agreement when one of their employees said “those oversensitive people complaining about privilege and political correctness don’t need even more places to whine. They already have Yik Yak. Why give them an entire classroom? Besides, people aren’t afraid of saying how they really feel on the app, and you can’t achieve the same freedoms in an academic setting.”
“We’ve talked to the administration over at the college and told them that we’re willing to negotiate to keep Yik Yak popular among their students. We will come to an agreement soon, hopefully. Let’s just say there’s been talk of sweetening the pot for admissions by keeping Swarthmore at the top of the Peek list for the next six months. Our only request is that the college ensure our company’s success by keeping this social justice requirement from gaining more support. I think we can make a deal,” said the company’s Mergers and Acquisitions representative, Brody Tankerman. Yik Yak has proposed a social media requirement in lieu of any other requirements that could be misconstrued as ‘ideological.’
“You can’t just expect everyone to sit in a classroom and respond to open ended questions about the world. I mean, c’mon! Some people want to stay in Hicks basement all day and that’s their right as Americans. It’s a question of accessibility—being able to respond ‘Wardo’ to every post on the app increases students’ engagement with important social issues, and they can do so from the comfort of their own bathroom stalls. With Yik Yak, the world is your classroom,” commented one employee who prefers to remain pseudo-anonymous. When asked how the staff at Yik Yak knew so much about Swarthmore, they laughed and reminded The Phoenix that students openly post personal information on the application for the public to access.