Take a look at this now-notorious tweet sent out by Ohio University’s Student Senate president Nick Southall, stating:
Dubbing himself “President Southall” on Twitter, OU’s Senate president inadvertently attracted negative attention from OU women for their assumed (and, according to him, quite frequent) “walks of shame.”
In response to the tweet, a group of students rallied at the OU Student Senate meeting today to voice their opinions on the issue.
Prior to the “Student SpeakOUt,” Southall addressed the audience and apologized to the entire student body for his actions, stating that he “tweeted something ignorant” and that “his apology, in no way, is supposed to cover up his mistake.”
However, this didn’t stop some of the indignant crowd from lashing out at Southall.
“I wanted to say thank you for the apology, but it’s too little too late,” said Emily Harper, a senior majoring in International Business, Marketing and Organizational Communication. She heatedly called out Southall, pointing out that women doing supposed “walks of shame” could be rape victims. “If you can’t respect me as a woman, how can I respect you as a leader?”
A number of students voluntarily took the floor, voicing their not-so-subtle opinions and pointing out that this issue of “slut shaming” goes much deeper than an ignorant tweet. Senate members also took the time to voice their resentment of the poor use of social media.
“As a student at Ohio University, I was disappointed and angered by Nick Southall’s behavior on Twitter on Sunday. It was absolutely unacceptable and inappropriate,” stated Senate member Allie Erwin, a senior Political Science major.
Between defamatory comments, prejudice, racism and the recently prominent issue of rape culture (yes, even the naked man hiding in the bushes at Emeriti Park counts), Senate members voiced the need for change.
“We [Student Senate] are going to be having a mandatory workshop for all senate voting and non-voting members on how to be non-sexist on social media and how not to be discriminatory. I’m really looking forward to that educational opportunity and I think we can grow as a body and begin a cultural shift that we can bring to the rest of OU as well,” Erwin said.
Southall concluded the Student SpeakOUt by once again apologizing and thanking fellow Senate members for their support.
“I am willing as a leader and person to do whatever to make this right,” he said.
And much of the OU community hopes to see that change, Mr. President.