What do SpongeBob SquarePants, a gorilla and frogs have in common?
All of these things have been turned into memes. Memes, which are funny images or photos that are popular with our generation, have taken college campuses by storm. If you look in any building on campus, you are likely to find a meme or character left there by a student, whether is is Pepe the frog carved into a picnic table, or pictures hanging up on the walls.
“[Memes are] pictures that are designed to make people happy,” said liberal arts major Taylor Graham.
Many students agree that the purpose of a meme is to make someone happy. “[They are] funny images that go viral through the internet,” said radiology major Katerina Cakri.
The memes most popular with students on campus seem to be Pepe the frog, Harambe and Caveman Spongebob. Memes are often sent between groups of friends in order to give a good laugh, which is why they’re part of some students’ daily routine.
Although students feel this way, there has been recent controversy surrounding memes, especially with Pepe the frog, as the meme becoming a hate symbol. In the past few days, multiple memes were done of the Presidential Debate. Presidential Debate memes are popular right now, with Pepe being linked to white supremacy.
“Memes started off as something ironic and it’s turned into an unhealthy addiction, Pepe is now considered a hate symbol, so what’s next?” said independent studies student Latesha Mercado.
Despite the allegations, students still feel that memes are used to promote positivity.
“I love memes, because I feel like it’s like a positive thing, no one thinks of memes being offensive,” said Cakri.
If you are walking across campus, you will occasionally hear students yelling the Harambe meme, which you can sometimes hear students chanting on campus, was made after the death of Harambe, the zoo gorilla that was shot after a child fell into his enclosure.
Last week, during one of the preachings of “Saint Ross”, students started a chant in memory of Harambe.
Besides Pepe and Harambe, students also have a love for memes that incorporate the childhood television show, Spongebob Squarepants. Toma Vardhami, a liberal arts major, and John Hoffman, a business major, said their favorite meme is the Caveman SpongeBob.
“I love memes, I’m very passionate about them. They really brighten up my day. If I’m feeling sad, it’s like, pull up a dank meme, and you just feel better,” said Graham.