‘We’re sorry Helene’: First year economists give their thoughts on Yik Yak walk out

Helene Turon walked out of a lecture after reading offensive comments about her

Economics lecturer Helene Turon walked out of a lecture after discovering offensive and sexual comments written about her on Yik Yak two weeks ago. Since then, Helene hasn’t been in the lectures and she’s now been replaced for the rest of her first year module.

A university spokesperson told the Tab: “Following the initial cyber-bullying incident and subsequent media attention, it was agreed that Dr Turon should be allowed to switch out of first year teaching for the remainder of the term.

“Her replacement, Dr Yanos Zylberberg, takes the second term Maths and Statistics first year course, and is very well-placed to teach the course and ensure the students cover all the material.

“Changes are often made to teaching arrangements, so this is by no means unprecedented.”

We spoke to first year students from her class on how they felt about the scandal.


When I saw the Yik Yaks it didn’t occur to me Helene would ever see them as well. While some of them definitely went too far I didn’t think they were so serious that she’d walk out of a lecture because of them. I feel bad our year has offended Helene and created so much drama. I’m a bit surprised it has led to us getting a new lecturer, but Yanos seems really great so it’s worked out well in the end.


Yik Yak is supposed to be good fun and obviously the anonymity of the app allows people to remove their usual barrier. Some of the comments made about Helene truly were horrific and I would be upset if I read them about myself. However I don’t think her walking out of the lecture was justified. To punish a class of 400 over the actions of only a few was unfair.

I think it was an error of judgement on her part in the heat of the moment which has unfortunately spiralled out of control. The EFM department’s response to this situation has been completely awful. They’ve cancelled exams abruptly and are not replying to any emails concerning the matter. I just can’t believe a few Yaks have caused this much trouble.


The whole situation has been crazy. We’ve been quite concerned because the maths part of our degree has fallen behind, our tutors are having to play catch up and because of that we haven’t been able to do the practice we usually do during tutorials. Unfortunately, this all started from Helene’s walkout.

It was probably not the best thing to do and everything then started to snowball and unfortunately Helene suffered because of that. We feel for her because the size of the story put her in the limelight and a lot of unnecessary people became involved. The whole situation was the perfect example for universities and papers around the country to start pointing the finger at Yik Yak and social media in general.

I feel there was never any context given: we’re talking about a very small group of people who caused this harm. Sadly all this has caused Helene to step down from teaching our unit (whether anything else has happened we’re not sure). Hopefully with a replacement now we can get back on track with our degree but we do genuinely feel bad for Helen.

While it was only the act of a few students she definitely didn’t deserve to be thrown into a situation where she felt she had to step down. We’re sorry Helene and we hope this can all be put behind you.