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Racially Harassed FSU SGA President Issues Statement

November 21st, 2021 by WCBC Radio

Ariyana Monee is the young woman who ran for President of the Student Government Association of Frostburg State Unversity, who was racially harassed by anonymous Twitter account(s), allegedly operated by one of her supporters, Cassie Conklin.
On Friday, it was announced that Ms. Conklin is no longer a member of the staff of 6th District Congressman David Trone.
Monee issued the following statement on her Facebook account.
Hello all, I have some news to share:
I’ve been debating saying something on here but I’ve decided I will.

As many of you know, I ran for Student Body President for Frostburg State University in March of 2021. As I ran for president, I did experience quite a few acts of hate that were racist and overall distasteful. Examples would be anonymous accounts and users calling me the N word. Anonymous users saying things such as, “We don’t want a Nigg*r president” and having multiple anonymous accounts created via Twitter to racially harass me. This has been going on for months. I’ve asked the police to help. I’ve asked the university to help. I received no help. I was told nothing could be done to protect me & that there was no true threat. I was advised by some administrators to block out the noise and remain diligent and strong, so I did to the best of my ability.

But, it was a painful, exhausting, and frustrating experience. Being harassed for the color of your skin just about everyday for 7 months without a clue who’s behind the words was annoying. The things these random anonymous account would sometimes be so specific, I just knew it was somebody close to me. It made me paranoid of those around me for months. It was like when I’d block these accounts, others would pop up. They wanted me to see the comments. They were persistent and vile. I’d even stay off of social media to avoid the harassment but that was just awful because I’d miss out on a lot of things because one of the biggest ways I reach out to my constituents was through social media, especially Twitter. It got to the point where the anonymous accounts had to have noticed I wasn’t active on Twitter anymore so they started sending their hate to the Student Government Association business organization page and just direct it at me.

During this 7 month span, many of my advisors were there for me mentally, physically, & emotionally. My advisors kept me going. One advisor in particular was Ms. Cassie Conklin. Cassie was a white woman who has been advising me since 2019. She is the one who motivated me to run for the position and helped with my campaign. She gave me advice, was my shoulder to cry on, and also spoke up for me on numerous occasions. Many of the students at Frostburg knew Ms. Cassie because she was always that woman who was hosting and/or speaking at protest. She was extremely liberal and extremely loud about it. She was seen by many as an ally for minority communities. We welcomed her everywhere which is why I trusted her as one of my advisors.

While these racist hate accounts were happening since the spring, Cassie was there for me. She would speak out against what the accounts would say about me on her personal twitter accounts. She would send me long text messages telling me that she was there to talk if needed. She’d even send me money through Venmo and title it things such as “reparations” or “I know you’re having a tough week” etc. Letting me know that she was there for me and would always remind me that she was my “white ally” who was there to make my experience better and safer.

As many of you know , or maybe you don’t, last week, Cassie Conklin was accused of being the person behind the racist hate accounts towards me. Congressman David Trone had an investigation done to look into this because Cassie was an employee. After a thorough investigation done by the Congressman’s office, I was notified yesterday that the claims were in-fact true. Cassie was responsible for those accounts and has been fired from Congressman Trone’s office as a result.

I’ve been asked by multiple people & media outlets to give a statement all week. I have not had much to say lately due to shock. But now I will say that I am still in shock by the actions done by a person that I trusted and called an advisor. Quite frankly, I have nothing more to say besides I hope Cassie heals from whatever she has going on that would cause her to want to do something like that.

I also would like to thank the office of Congressmen David Trone for conducting this investigation and keeping me updated that entire week, giving me peace. He acted accordingly and was very helpful and kind to me throughout the entire process and I appreciate it soooo much.

I’m still healing but I’m a lot better now that I know. Thanks everyone who’s been of support to me this past week