Since the anonymous social media app's release two years ago, Yik Yak has become a landing place for college students' thoughts on everything from dining hall food to final exams. But at Liberty University in Virginia Monday, a different subject dominated students' Yik Yak feeds: politics. Dozens of users took to the app before, during and after Sen. Ted Cruz's on-campus speech announcing his plans to run for U.S. president in 2016. Attendance was mandatory, Business Insider reported, and the Texas Republican's audience had a lot to say.
Several users made jokes referencing Cruz's use of "imagine," a word he invoked 38 times during his announcement, according to a tweet from Washington Post reporter Jose A. DelReal. Others repeated the now-famous statement made by Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch that "I'm just here so I won't get fined," as students who didn't go to Cruz's speech faced reprimands and a fine.
How Ted Cruz's speech is playing with Liberty U kids on Yik Yak pic.twitter.com/gh4xbmVsSU
— Tyler Kingkade (@tylerkingkade) March 23, 2015
— Catherine Thompson (@KT_thomps) March 23, 2015
Other students who opposed Cruz's speech expressed their thoughts on Facebook. One of them was Jessica Kramer, who has ties to the university's Young Americans for Liberty chapter and supports Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. "I bear no ill will toward Sen. Cruz, but his choice to announce his 2016 presidential bid at convocation at Liberty University is a starkly deceptive one," Bloomberg reported Kramer posted on her page as a "good point" from a peer. "Should the general public be unaware that all students are required to attend convocation, it would seem to the average viewer [as this will be televised and is already being widely publicized] that 10,000 supporters came to Liberty University to hear Senator Cruz's announcement."
Some Paul supporters wore bright red shirts to steal attention away from Cruz's speech as conversation on Yik Yak continued.
Liberty U Yik Yak not really feeling Ted Cruz coming to campus. pic.twitter.com/s5MGHpVQBv
— Elias Groll (@EliasGroll) March 23, 2015
Liberty University Yik Yak right now, from students forced to be at the speech. pic.twitter.com/jQUn35RPSa
— David Mariutto (@DavidMariutto) March 23, 2015
â€” Ashley Codianni (@AshleyCodianni) March 23, 2015
Liberty University is a private Christian university with about 13,500 residential students. CNN reported Cruz likely chose the college for his announcement because of its focus on conservative values, and he's not the first to do so. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was the school's commencement speaker in 2006. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have also spoken before Liberty students.