The Memes of Montclair State

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Published January 22, 2020
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The Montclarion
An image from the Nickelodeon show “iCarly.” Gibby (played by Noah Munck) is shown hitting Spencer (played by Jerry Trainor) with a stop sign. Superimposed text has been used to notate that Gibby represents the staff of Montclair State University and Spencer represents students complaining about problems on campus, being hit with “It’s All Here.”

The Instagram page @memesofmontclair showcases some of Montclair State University’s most prominent issues— from the poor food quality at Sam’s Place to the parking predicament.

This Instagram page is run by two undergraduate students, one computer science major and one public relations major. The duo has chosen to remain anonymous and asked that a pseudonym be made for them. The Mademoiselles of Memes started their page in February 2019 and have just over 3,000 followers.

Students are using the @memesofmontclair page to anonymously voice their concerns about the campus. One post assesses the remodeling of College Hall, and questions why so much of the budget is going toward rebuilding. The original creator suggests this money might be better spent supplying the campus with better food, fixing Sprague Library or making repairs to Bohn, Dickson or Freeman Hall.

A meme is defined as an element of a culture, a piece of media or a system of behavior that is passed from one individual to another through imitation, word of mouth or, most popularly, social media.

Images with text superimposed over them are called macros. Most image macros are memes, but not all memes are image macros. Often people will make slight variations to these macros by changing the text to fit their own needs.

In college culture, memes allow students to find common ground with their peers and connect through common structures of feeling. This is similar to the way people bond when they find they enjoy the same book or movie.

“Memes help me relate to people in a way that was unprecedented before our generation,” Alessandro Toxiri, a freshman majoring in business administration, said. “It allows you to learn more about other people.”

Typically, memes are humorous in tone, but occasionally content creators utilize memes to allude to much more serious topics. Memes can be about anything from purposely silly animal anatomy to the lack of elections under dictatorial governments.

meme1.png

An altered version of the “Distracted Boyfriend” macro implies that Montclair State’s budget shouldn’t be going toward refinishing College Hall

Once in a blue moon a meme makes it— sometimes content creators inadvertently produce media that will go viral. Though there are innumerable memes related to Montclair State, “It’s All Here” is by far the most popular.

“We genuinely love Montclair State and truly believe everything is ‘all here,’” The Mademoiselles of Memes said. “We are aware that some memes focus on the issues at our school, but it is meant to be relatable, not a complaint.”

Some students do genuinely believe that everything you’ll ever need can be found at Montclair State. However, this sentiment is not shared by all students. Some people use “It’s All Here” sarcastically as a way to cope with their frustrations.

Emam Hassan is a nutrition and food science major in his senior year. He is not a stranger to using “It’s All Here” as facetious commentary toward the amenities at Montclair State.

 

“There’s literally nothing here,” Hassan said. “Nearly every time I’ve needed [Montclair State], they’ve failed me. This applies to financial aid, housing selection and bad schedule advising.”

Responding to an unfortunate situation with “It’s All Here” was a way
for students to reclaim the promotional motto. This trend has outlived
the initiative itself.

 

“If you look up ‘it’s all here’ the first thing that shows up is a Montclarion cartoon of parking problems at Montclair State,” Anthony Gachetti, a freshman environmental science major, said.

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