USD memes create buzz on campus

Photo courtesy of @usdmemes/Instagram – A “starter pack” is a variety of items that seem to identify a group of people.

Born on Jan. 15, 2017, the University of San Diego-inspired Instagram account @usdmemes has over 2,000 followers, which it has amassed in a little less than a month. The Instagram page, which borrows inspiration from popular accounts and meme-posters like @mytherapistsays, @tank.sinatra, @daquan, and @beigecardigan, posts USD-themed memes. Memes are cultural references, often satirical  in nature, that are shared from person to person, typically in the form of humorous images, text, and GIFs.

So far, the page includes both USD girls and guys “starter packs,” a hunky President Harris holding a puppy, and their own versions of the “confused Nick Young” and “cash me outside” memes. The person behind the page remains a mystery, though many students have their speculations.

Non-sanctioned campus social media pages have occasionally come under fire for posting offensive, or at least insensitive, content at other universities. As of now, it does not seem as though @usdmemes has sparked outrage among the community. In fact, the Instagram page has become quite a hit among USD students and has caused a good-natured buzz on campus since its creation.

Freshman Nicolo Amari shared that he sees the memes as lighthearted fun for the campus community.

“I think that the memes are relevant and relatable which makes them funny,” Amari said. “I think it solidifies the USD community because we get to laugh at inside jokes that only USD students will be able to understand.”

Sophomore Anas Salah recently discovered the account and found it to be entertaining.

“I only found out about [@usdmemes] last weekend, and I think it’s a pretty cool account because we, as USD students, can relate to it more than anyone else,” Salah said. “I basically just check it out for the laughs.”

Sophomore Alexa Perera explained that she thinks of @usdmemes as a way for the campus to joke with each other about things we see around school from day-to-day.

“I think that @usdmemes is a really cool way to make people laugh with their friends,” Perera said. “We all joke about the culture at USD on a daily basis, and that’s what makes it fun.”

In addition to student perspectives, Cynthia M. Avery, Vice President of Student Affairs, shared from her administrative standpoint.

Avery was asked if the administration at USD is planning on taking action against the @usdmemes page.

“Not that I am aware of,” Avery said. “The university has not taken down or moderated any social media sites, but rather has called our community members to reflect on our values. As it pertains to social media the values that come to mind are those related to both community and ethical conduct.”

Avery also shared her perspective on the impact memes can have on the USD community.

“Memes are developed as a form of satire,” Avery said. “Most are humorous, and some encourage a reflection on a cause, movement, etc. I would strongly encourage those who run this site to consider how peers or other community members might inadvertently be affected by memes picturing them or referring to them directly or indirectly.”   

USD students have been sharing laughs over @usdmemes, whether reminiscing about Comber last Friday, or griping about those $50 parking tickets we all seem to get once or twice a semester. What began as a few posts last month is growing into a viral presence on campus, and as they say, “it’s lit.”

Written by Walker Chuppe, Arts & Culture Editor