207 Views

The rise of the Sussex Uni memes

It was a typical Wednesday afternoon when two bored students decided to create a Facebook group to rule all Sussex Facebook groups. Of course I’m talking about the University of Sussex Memes group.

 The addictive group was created on 8 February by David Jonathan and Raminski Skii who tactically followed suit after seeing that other universities had their own memes sites. Within just one day of existence, the group had gone viral; it was liked by 2000 students, hordes of witty memes were posted by the hour and an entire new form of procrastination emerged.

If you’re completely baffled by the concept of memes, I will enlighten you. According to a very reliable source (Wikipedia) a meme is an idea, behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture through writing and other imitable phenomena. The term is a shortening of mineme, the Ancient Greek for ‘something imitated’. 

It was also modelled on the word gene as it was coined by the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins (1976) as a concept for explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. The concept is analogous to genes in the way that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures, each of which influence a meme’s reproductive success.

It is evident in this case that the most successful memes gain the most likes and comments. One of the most popular memes with over 400 likes is an image comparing Sussex accommodation with various other places; Swanborough as a palace, Northfield as Brighton Pavillion, Stanmer court as the land of Far Far Away, Brighthelm as Wisteria Lane, Lewis Court as a Premiere Inn, Park Village as a motel and, of course, East Slope as a cardboard box. It’s not difficult to see why this image is so popular – everyone who goes to Sussex can identify with it, and once someone likes it a few times, it pops up on newsfeeds and there’s no stopping the spread.

With a simple internet generator anyone can create their own customised meme from a series of stock images. These include the ‘Success Kid’, the ‘One does not simply…’, the ‘Y U No’ and the ‘Socially Awkward Penguin’, along with an assortment of film references, celebrities and cartoons. It’s this juxtaposition of popular culture and student values that works so well as everyone can recognise them and indulge in the sarcastic humour and clever analogies.

The topics involved draw on the shared knowledge of Sussex students. These include important issues such as sea gulls stealing our Bagelmans, the bizarre Sussex architecture (metaphors of ‘Inception’ are commonplace) as well as that damn library gate (‘You shall not pass!’). A constant focus is comparing East Slope to a slum, slating certain courses (Media Studies) and being bombarded with flyers every time you walk through library square. Just generally the hardships of student life like 9ams, assignments and Falmer Sports complex being up a mountain. A recurrent theme is of course the unavoidable Sussex vs. Brighton rivalry, with the insinuation that Brighton students are dense chavs. For example the image of Keanu Reeves saying ‘What if buses go through Sussex first to give Brighton students something to aspire to?’ and the young boy with the words ‘Meanwhile over at Brighton…I fuckin’ love colouring!!!!!!’ Someone even replied to the backlash with an image of Chris Crocker saying ‘Leave Brighton Uni Alone!’

It all reflects the banterous nature of student life, and this unique medium has allowed us to share our opinions and experiences of student life in a light-hearted manner. The University of Sussex Memes group has brought a sense of community unlike any other through its simplicity and accessibility; you can contribute your own unit of cultural beliefs and see how many people feel the same way, or simply look through others’ memes and have a chuckle between lectures.

Who knows whether the Facebook group will prevail? At the point of writing, 3500 people have liked it, more than 500 memes have been posted, and Vodka Revs even dedicated a club night to it! David, co-creator of the group said: “It’s the first page Sussex has that anyone can contribute to and share a laugh together. And the best thing about it is we have half the number of students, but more likes, memes and hits than Brighton Uni’s own page! ”

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
912 views1
Campus News
912 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
247 views
Arts
247 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
264 views
Arts
264 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
246 views
Arts
246 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
304 views
Arts
304 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
310 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
280 views
Arts
280 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
265 views
Arts
265 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
404 views
Campus News
404 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
212 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
673 views
Arts
673 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
277 views
Arts
277 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
364 views
Artist Focus
364 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
276 views
Interview
276 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
347 views
Arts
347 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
397 views
Arts
397 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
421 views
Arts
421 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
328 views
Artist Focus
328 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
359 views
Books
359 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
456 views
Science
456 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
388 views
News
388 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…