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To meme, or not to meme: The story behind Duquesne's Meme Facebook page

By Haldan Kirsch
On February 22, 2012

  • Nice job Emily. I am proud of your passion about current events and social issues. I look forward to reading more articles. Anonymous #comment 2
  • The logo for Duquesne Memes Facebook page. All photos on this page are actual Duquesne Memes that can be found on their Facebook page. The original page was created Feb. 10 and was deleted Feb. 14, and the new Duquesne Memes page was started tha same day. Courtesy of Duquesne Memes
  • The logo for Duquesne Memes Facebook page. All photos on this page are actual Duquesne Memes that can be found on their Facebook page. The original page was created Feb. 10 and was deleted Feb. 14, and the new Duquesne Memes page was started tha same day. Courtesy of Duquesne Memes
  • The logo for Duquesne Memes Facebook page. All photos on this page are actual Duquesne Memes that can be found on their Facebook page. The original page was created Feb. 10 and was deleted Feb. 14, and the new Duquesne Memes page was started tha same day. Courtesy of Duquesne Memes
  • The logo for Duquesne Memes Facebook page. All photos on this page are actual Duquesne Memes that can be found on their Facebook page. The original page was created Feb. 10 and was deleted Feb. 14, and the new Duquesne Memes page was started tha same day. Courtesy of Duquesne Memes
  • The logo for Duquesne Memes Facebook page. All photos on this page are actual Duquesne Memes that can be found on their Facebook page. The original page was created Feb. 10 and was deleted Feb. 14, and the new Duquesne Memes page was started tha same day. Courtesy of Duquesne Memes

A tidal wave of college-based meme pages have recently taken over Facebook. Duquesne's, which has been around for less than two weeks, already has almost 900 "likes."

A meme consists of picture that typically has a predetermined connotation, a phrase over the top that sets up a joke, and a phrase along the bottom that serves as the punch line. Memes often make fun of something, praise something or basically just mention something specific that happens in a certain community.

The most important thing about a meme is that it is something that a specific group of people can relate to — in this case, Duquesne students. An example of a popular Duquesne meme makes fun of the typical freshman. These memes make fun of things typical Duquesne freshmen sometimes do, including accidentally wandering into the Hill District or walking on the inner circle of the "Scary Jesus" crucifix near Rockwell.

Other Duquesne memes comment on the quality of food in the dining halls, quirky meal-plan and FLEX exceptions, the unreliability of campus internet and the strictness of residence halls visitation rules. One meme that has garnered more than 140 likes is a picture of the Forbes Avenue entrance of Fisher Hall. The caption reads, "NOPE, still not the first floor."

Another popular theme among Duquesne memes was everyone's favorite Towers dining hall ice cream man, Vince. Before the original pages shut down, Duquesne Dining Services praised on a Vince meme. Their response, of course elicited a response meme, which read simply, "They know."

The original page, created by University of Maryland University College freshman Ian Paul and University of Pittsburgh student freshman Drew Sheldon on Feb, 10, mysteriously disappeared four days later, only to be resurrected that same day by Duquesne student Scott Martin.

Paul created the page originally as a joke at his friend, Duquesne freshman David Orbin, who told Paul that he disliked college-themed meme pages.

"The only part I really contributed was disliking college meme pages and having friends who enjoy annoying me," said Orbin, a forensics science and law student.

Paul created the page after noticing that Duquesne did not have a meme page of its own in order to jokingly annoy Orbin. But the page became an overnight sensation with Duquesne students, which Paul, Sheldon and Orbin did not expect.

Paul and Sheldon said they didn't know much about what Duquesne students complained about, so they just made up a photo and invited a few friends who attended Duquesne. The page started with one photo and a few likes.

"When I woke up the next day, there were around 30 likes and maybe 10 or so new posts," Paul said. "Within 24 hours, we had 800 likes on the page."

Four days later, Paul felt his personal joke had run its course and decided to shut down the page. By the time of its deletion on Feb. 14, the page had reached 1,646 likes and more than 400 posts. Despite what many assumed, Paul did not shut down the page because he disliked what users were posting.

"The page's time had just come," he said.

Duquesne sophomore physics and math major Scott Martin disagreed.

"After talking to a couple friends, I decided to bring the page back," Martin said.

Martin resurrected the Duquesne memes page Feb. 14. While his page has not received the same intense activity as its predecessor, it is growing.  The page has received about 100-200 likes per day, Martin said.

Students' reactions to the meme page seem fairly mixed. Some people love the memes and enjoy laughing at observations made by their fellow students. Other students felt the memes were made incorrectly and  are just another Internet trend running its course.

Sadly, Martin said, many of the popular memes of the original page were lost after it was shut down. Luckily for fans of the page, Paul has kept some of them stored away, and a possible comeback appearance from these memes may happen soon.


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