The morning of Saturday, Mar. 7 started off as a regular morning for many students at McDaniel — that is, until brunch time. Upon entering the lower level of Decker Hall, many students found themselves surrounded by fan art and merchandise. It was, once again, time for McDaniel’s annual Anime Convention.
NipponCon, the annual anime convention hosted by McDaniel’s Anime Club, took place around campus and lasted all day. Throughout the day, students and visitors were able to navigate the busy halls of Decker, full of merchandize of all types. They participated in panels with artists, actors, producers and many other people who work in anime and animation. They also attended screenings of multiple genres of anime and participated in fun activities and games. It was a spectacular day for those who enjoy anime and Japanese culture and also for those who enjoy learning about new cultures.
Throughout the “market” and the different rooms where screening and panels were taking place you could see people smiling, talking with each other, going around and enjoying themselves and the company of others. It was a time for people to bond with others with shared interests. People who enjoy anime, many of them introverts, are often bullied and judged. Conventions like this one should allow them to get together and avoid judgement from society for at least a few hours.
However, all throughout the day the complaints of many students could be heard all around campus, especially on Yik Yak. Many students complained about the large number of people present at the school on a Saturday, and many more complained about the kind of people attending the convention, calling many of the participants “weird,” “stupid,” “immature” and even “indecent.”
Most of the yaks during brunch hours were very negative and offensive. The yaks criticized and even cyber-bullied those who attended the convention. Many of the yaks attempted to make patriotic remarks such as, “This is AMERICA, not japan. Go back to your country you —– freaks” and “Why does the school support such events on campus. This is America, not Japan.”
One of the more offensive yaks even went to the point of threatening the organizer of the convention: “I will find whoever allowed this convention to happen in school and I will make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”
Fortunately, McDaniel showed its intolerance to bullying and offending people. Throughout the day, when bullies attempted to diminish the convention and those who attended by posting offensive and threatening yaks, the larger body of tolerant and open-minded students on McDaniel made sure that these yaks were downvoted within minutes of their appearance.
Many more students started to yak in defense to the convention and the people attending it. One of my favorite yaks has to be one student’s reply to a yak that commented on the indecency of some of the cosplays and fan art showcased all around. The reply read, “Wait, so you’re telling me you have a problem with all the half-naked fan art but you don’t have a problem with the half-naked girls on movies and commercials? Get your —- together America.”
In light of what happened on Yik Yak that Saturday, am happy that people on campus, whether they attend McDaniel or not, were able to stand up for others trying to have an afternoon of fun. It is my hope that McDaniel can continue to work towards not tolerating any bullying. We need to create a campus where students and everyone else is treated nicely and fairly.