Bantering Students Lose Sight of Senior Group Chat’s Purpose

Lauren Johnson, Views Editor

We’ve all heard tales of the late, great senior group chat of 2019 with its major controversies escalating into Twitter wars and even lifelong grudges. But is class of 2020 going to be any better than last year’s graduates?

The idea behind the senior group chat is to have a means of communication between the senior class officers and the rest of the class. However, this isn’t possible with as many comments as there are.

Now 401 members strong, the senior group chat is constantly assaulted with irrelevant memes and polls. Anytime senior co-president Usma Rizvi sends out information regarding the class video, spirit video or any other senior activities, it is immediately swallowed in the constant stream of comments. 

“I don’t have a problem with people having discussions and just talking to each other, but it becomes excessive when people aren’t able to see the information that we send out,” Rizvi said.

The comments are not the worst of it; the polls are just as off-topic and bizarre. My personal favorite is a poll from senior Jay Boyd, with over 50 votes: “Could you eat a whole loaf of bread in 30 minutes without water?” Senior Charlie Belobrajdic’s poll asked whether or not the school mascot should be changed to an orangutan. Though polls like these receive the occasional chortle from me, we can do without them. 

“I think the original purpose of [the group chat] is to give our two cents, but it’s kind of just polls and spam, not that I mind too much,” senior Ken Korunka said. Korunka said that she, like many other members, has muted the chat.

So how can we make the group chat more productive? We begin to adhere to standard group chat etiquette. For example, let’s not make it an echo room. If you agree with something, like the comment. If you have your own opinion about something, a relevant opinion at that, then give your input. 

Another “law of group-chatting” is to not have personal or one-on-one conversations with one person. Maybe you could start a direct chat with them. I hate to break it to you, but you are not exactly the center of the universe here. Just by being in the group chat you already have enough contact information to message any member privately. 

“At some point I think people should just make a separate group chat amongst themselves if it’s the same group talking about random, unrelated stuff,” Rizvi said. 

If the comments become anything like they were last year, controversial or aggressive, Rizvi says she will “probably message the person separately” or resort to removing the individual from the chat.

“The most I can do is just reiterate the fact that people have the right to opinions, especially in a journalistic sense, and (that) there is a right to criticize but not harmfully,” Risvi said.

The senior group chat is no place for harassment. If the chat becomes overly vulgar, Rizvi says the administration can shut the chat down at any time — so let’s not cross the line, people! By being cognizant of how appropriate our posts are, we, class of 2020, can stay on track to be the best senior group chat ever. Let’s make it happen.