Cover photo of student government members from SGA
This article quotes offensive and sexual language
Reporter’s Note: Because the Instagram account in question has been deleted, the descriptions of the account and its posts are based only on my memory and notes that I took.
A University of Dayton Student Government Association (SGA) presidential ticket said they were not behind or had prior knowledge of an Instagram post from a short-lived Instagram account that harassed their competitors
Last week an Instagram account called @real_ud_news began promoting itself on the social media site essentially as a radical student press organization. For example, one post criticized UD Public Safety for its response to partying students on the night when most students were initially told they would have to leave campus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a post on Monday, @real_ud_news harassed two students running for SGA president. The account supposedly quoted an unnamed member of SGA who said that they wouldn’t vote for director of campus unity Natalie Coppolino even if she blew them and that SGA attorney general Jake Jagels was a bigger douche than current president Bryan Borodkin.
The post then encouraged students to vote for the SGA president/vice president ticket of SGA chief of staff Sage Beardsley and speaker of the senate Tommy Reese. Beardsley and Reese said the post shocked them.
“We did not expect this at all, we were just as shocked as the other candidates when we found out what was going on,” they said in a statement to Flyer News. “We do not condone the language that was used in this horrendous post, nor should any of our supporters. We believe in the mission of the other two tickets and would never support the belittling of anyone.”
The duo added that they have no knowledge of who was behind the account, which was deleted after this occurrence.
Coppolino said she was surprised, as well.
“I have never experienced such a sexist display before and maybe I was a little bit naïve to hope that I never would,” she said in a statement to Flyer News. “Additionally, I was especially surprised to see that this was all coming from an account that was clearly being operated by a UD student.”
Both Coppolino and Beardsley/Reese expressed disbelief that a member of SGA supposedly made these statements. And both stated they hope that whoever is responsible will receive disciplinary action.
Borodkin said that if a member of SGA is discovered to have said these things that they will be removed from the organization. The SGA president also said they are looking into the incident and will work with university officials and UDit. He noted that, as of now, they don’t have any information that confirms what was quoted in the post was said by a member of SGA.
“I truly hope and, deep down, believe that no SGA member would ever say what was allegedly quoted in that Instagram post,” he said.
Despite what occurred, Coppolino said there was a positive.
“Although seeing the post was a little difficult at first, all of the positive and uplifting comments underneath the post quickly reminded me why I chose UD in the first place,” she said. “That was the silver lining for me, to know that one negative comment yielded a bunch of positive, supportive comments was amazing and showed me how great our Flyers really are.”
Jagels and his running mate, junior senator Bridget Ofori, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Voting for this semester’s SGA elections begins on April 6 and lasts until April 8. Information about the candidates and their platforms can be found here.
Flyer News sent a request for comment to the email address associated with the Instagram account, but the email account was deleted too.