Amidst all the bustle in the Student Union on Saturday, between Fresh-Check day on the lawn and the free swag on Fairfield Way, the Meme Museum was also making a name for itself in the North Lobby. The brainchild of eighth semester St. Johns University student Malia DelaCruz and eighth semester biology student Matt Lin, the interactive display was all about celebrating and sharing memes.
“We think memes are like a new means of communication,” DelaCruz said, referencing how she and Lin cemented their friendship using memes.
The Museum in the Union had a number of meme images blown up to poster-sizes and displayed on easels with sticky pads and pens at each image so that students could add their own piece, writing their own reactions, explanations, and memes for each picture.
“The fact that people are actually making their own memes is pretty cool,” second semester pre-elementary education student Jenna Racca said while browsing.
Some of the memes students created were UConn-related. For example, the “chicken gtg meme” image was accompanied by notes like “when the DP Dough arrives” and “When it’s 7:14 and the dining hall doesn’t have late night.”
On the “question mark guy” meme someone wrote, “When my teammates haven’t paid me back from Oozeball.”
The “math lady meme” inspired a lot of financial digs like, “Me realizing the stuff at Spring Weekend is actually funded by our tuition,” and “Susan Herbst trying to figure out how much she can raise tuition without anyone noticing.”
Given how familiar students are with memes, interest in the Museum was high.
“I think I literally talk about a meme every day,” second semester biology student Nicole Truszkowski said, “whether it’s from Twitter or Vine.”
“People are really willing to help out,” Lin said. “I think that speaks a lot to the appeal of the idea.”
Lin and DelaCruz discussed how while the idea had just started between the two of them, but friends were really willing to help out, like sixth semester physiology and neurobiology student Omar Taweh who helped them reach up to 50,000 people with promotions and marketing and Samad Khan who helped with the logistics of the event.
Despite the number of people that came, reactions to the actual event were somewhat varied.
“I was expecting more artistic representation,” Truszkowski said, saying she was expecting something more along the lines of meme sculptures or meme cakes.
Lin and DelaCruz were happy with the Museum’s initial success, however, and this is just the beginning for them.
“We’re planning on having a bigger more professional event in New York,” DelaCruz said. Lin added that it would be pop-up shop style, a temporary event in a physical space.
“It started off as a joke,” Lin said. “It’s funny, you know, the whole nature of it is funny.”
It will be this humor, as well as the support from friends and well-used resources that will allow the Meme Museum to push forward and to share this new cultural communication with even more people.
Alex Houdeshell is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.