For a Facebook page that was just started this February, K-State Memes has been a big hit. Creators Jess Eisenbarth, sophomore in biology, and Matthew Roeder, sophomore in graphic design, didn’t realize that their page of memes regarding aspects of K-State — most of them true — would become so popular, ascending from between eight and 10 likes over the first week to over 4,000 likes now. Many K-State students can relate to these posts, which describe life and events on the university’s campus.
Though the memes on the Facebook page are funny, relatable and often true, one issue raised by the page is how Kansas State University as a whole is being portrayed. There is also a question of how the memes could influence prospective students.
"I don’t think we’ve ever posted anything negative," Roeder said.
Roeder added that he and Eisenbarth try to stay away from negative posts, especially since he believes that posting something and deleting it later on can create a bigger problem. Their goal is to be funny; however, they attempt to respect the line between funny and demeaning.
According to its website, K-State’s Division of Communications and Marketing is responsible for keeping K-State’s image positive and friendly. However, when asked about the K-State Memes page on Facebook, no one who responded seemed to know what it was, and Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, the division’s director for news and editorial services, had no comment, stating that the page "is not something K-State is involved with anyway."
Is this page something K-State University’s Divison of Communications and Marketing should worry about? The division does not monitor the page (although maybe it should); therefore, it has no knowledge about whether it sheds negative or positive light on K-State.
"It releases comical stress," said Zach Stroth, sophomore in family studies.
Stroth believes there is no harm in the K-State Memes page. He follows the page and likes a lot of the material because the memes, for the most part, are accurate in their portrayal of K-State.
"It is insightful to the campus," Stroth said.
Stroth noted that some of the memes are comical, while others are helpful to students and teachers alike.
When you get down to it, this page of memes does not really affect K-State’s image. More than anything, it gives K-State students something to relate to and provides humor to many of K-State’s students, teachers and staff. Rather than being positive or negative, the page merely provides entertainment when you’re bored or looking for a laugh.
Roeder and Eisenbarth encourage others to create memes and share them on the page, since they feel there is so much prime material left uncovered. K-State memes shed a unique light on K-State that students of all kinds can appreciate and that people looking in from outside may find appealing.
The page’s overall tone is perhaps best described by its co-creator: "It’s kind of the ways you razz on your friends. You’re making fun of them, but you still love them," Eisenbarth said.
Elyssa Stallcup is a freshman in pre-journalism and mass communications. Please send comments to [email protected]