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The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

A look at UT’s meme culture

Kuba Bard

From calls for students to get off Grindr, to commentary on Co-op life, UT Austin meme accounts create content centered around student relatability, humor and fostering a community.

Meme accounts on social media have become an increasingly popular form of entertainment, with some accounts creating content for specific communities or interests. The UT-focused meme community is an active and growing one, posting content about UT events and news, West Campus, student life and more.

“It provides a news source because we like to keep up with campus news,” said one of the admins of UTtwinks, a meme account that has garnered over 700 followers since its creation in Feb. 2023. “We are sometimes silly about it, but we do want to provide news about campus.”

Big or small, these accounts foster communities of like-minded individuals, which is exactly what Lily Orozco, the admin of UTfreaks, hoped to achieve when they started their page.

“Comedy is the main part, and relatability,” public health sophomore Orozco said. “If you go to my account, the bio is ‘Curated for the mentally ill and chronically online,’ and I feel like that is exactly (my) audience — just people who are online as much as me.”

UTtwinks’s creator said they made their account as a means to connect the LGBTQ+ community and allies.

“We thought it would be fun to connect with others that have a similar humor,” UTtwinks said. “(The account is meant) to connect with the campus LGBTQ community … We also have so many allies who follow us, too, which I love.”

UTtwinks said these accounts foster community and connect people who have similar senses of humor and experiences.

During the primary elections in March, UTtwinks posted on their Instagram story to try and encourage voter turnout.

“Hey twinks, get off Grinder and go vote,” the story post said.

When asked about utilizing the term “twink” in their username, a term that can be considered offensive, UTtwinks said they think the term has positivity attached to it. 

“I think it’s such a silly term,” he said. “I love it.”

The admin of SluttonHall, a meme account that frequently posts about happenings in the School of Architecture, said they started their account out of spite.

“I had a conversation with someone and I just made a meme,” they said. “They’re like, ‘Oh, this isn’t that funny,’ and it just rubbed me the wrong way. I was like, ‘Oh, I should just start my own meme account,’ then let’s see if it’s actually not that funny.”

They also started the account to bring attention to one of UT Architecture’s most relevant buildings, Sutton Hall.

“It’s one of the oldest buildings on campus, but it’s overlooked by Battle Hall, which is the architecture library and the oldest building on campus,” the SluttonHall admin said. “I didn’t realize that SluttonHall would get this popular. I have over 2000 followers now, which is crazy.”

SluttonHall also notes that most of their followers are non-architecture students, since the school had 638 total students in 2023, according to UT student data.

Though some of these accounts have garnered thousands of followers, several admins of these accounts still want to preserve their anonymity online. The admins of UT_Tramp, UTtwinks and SluttonHall requested anonymity for this reason.

“I’ve never actually told my close friends about this account,” said the admin of UT_Tramp. “Not many people know this part of my life. I feel like it would come as a shock to them to find out what I was posting as well because I’m definitely a different person from who I am online than in person, especially humor-wise.”

The UT_Tramp admin said their account provides a sense of escape for their followers, as well as a way to connect with the LGBTQ community.

“When I first came to UT, I did feel isolated,” the UT_Tramp admin said. “I felt like these memes are a community together online where you can see people that find the same stuff funny.”

Orozco also said that relatability and comedy are a huge part of how they made their friends at UT, and that the content they post should be shared with others. 

“I feel like that’s how I’ve made a lot of my friends like in college,” Orozco said. “I think it’s really important that the type of content I make is something that you can share with your friends.”

History senior Antonio Amine, admin of UT_Intellectuals, said his account and others often post content critiquing UT or the University’s administrative decisions. Despite this, Amine said he is not worried about UT administration coming down on his account.

“I don’t think I’ve really posted anything that would cause them to care,” Amine said. “I know a lot of pages will post really pointed, aggressive stuff about the administration, but I think they have better stuff to do than monitor meme pages.”

SluttonHall also said that these meme accounts have a right to criticize UT.

“At the end of the day, we have our First Amendment rights,” SluttonHall said. “You should be allowed to criticize the university without facing backlash. We pay so much money to attend this University. We have the right to criticize it.”

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