UPDATE: the New York Times ran an article exploring Yik Yak on the College campus. It mentions the Colgate faculty Yak back.

To quote a recent post on Yik Yak, the notoriously negative mobile application, “Professors have been successfully re-introduced into the Yak environment [and] the ecological consequences should be fascinating.”

Indeed they are.

The campaign began when Geoff Holm, associate professor of biology, noticed a few positive posts from faculty members on the app, but those voices were failing to gain traction.

“I thought that if there was a more coordinated effort, especially at the end of the semester, it could bring a more positive vibe to the campus,” Holm said. He credited his biology colleague Prof. Eddie Watkins with suggesting that posters identify themselves.

A screenshot from December 12.

A screenshot from December 12.

“Yes,” said Watkins. “I think we should all be putting our names on there. The students are loving it and my Yakarma is 1174!”

So far, more than 50 professors have posted messages, ranging from the silly to the sublime. There is much sleep-related advice and encouragement, and also a few newbies to the platform. Some of the posts have garnered more than 100 “up votes.”

Prof. Metzler: “While it’s impossible to do everything you need to do and get sleep, take it from someone with a seven-week old; sleep is important for brain function…wishing I got more of it!”

Outdoor Ed had other advice: “I hear sledding and snowball fights are great stress relievers…Come to OE and borrow a sled.”

Prof. Woods: “Thanks to the students at Colgate for making my job fun. I’m sorry I can’t always return the favor, but you know I love ya.”

Prof Scull: “Shout out to my GEOG245 class for a fabulous (yet hard) discussion of the societal consequence of GIS (e.g., the yak)”

Marlowe: “Saw a student helping an elderly man dig out his car the other day. You guys are awesome”

Prof. Page: Sending good vibes Colgate and good luck next week – all out in the open. Life’s so much better out in the open

With so much goodness in the air, even anonymous posts can be nice: “To all of the professors, thank you. What a wonderful, happy thing to wake up to in the morning. You all made my and many other students’ days.”

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