Will-GRAM-ette: Instagrams of WU
Willamette University’s close-knit community has resulted in the creation of a variety of Instagram accounts dedicated to highlighting Willamette culture and experiences that students have on campus. All of these accounts were created and are run by Willamette students, and each account leaves its own unique impact on the community.
One such page, the most popular of the student-made Willamette accounts with a current follower count of 1,020, is @dankwumemes, which features original memes created by the producers and by students who follow the page.
@dankwumemes administrators said, “[the account] started as just a fun pastime.” Now, with a substantial follower count, the account actively appeals to students and campus culture.
“Almost all the time we make memes based off our observations of current day campus events. We also really like food. Admittedly we have a habit of ranting about when our food options are taken away. And of course we love our user submissions,” said @dankwumemes.
At the heart of it, the creators make memes for the enjoyment of Willamette students and to make their days a little brighter: “If we get somebody to breathe slightly out of their nose when they see our posts, then that’s a win in our books.”
@overheardwillamette comes in at a close second, with a follower count of 925. The idea for such an account was ignited before even arriving at Willamette. The creator began listening to conversations happening around them and writing down amusing quotes that arose.
This idea continued at Willamette when the creator overheard conversations in their residence hall and realized how funny some of them were, leading to the start of @overheardwillamette. The creator notes:
“The posts take away a lot of the seriousness and stress people feel on this campus by letting them laugh and reflect on things they hear and say and not taking everything seriously all the time. It also makes people feel more a part of the community because people can tag their friends in posts when they relate to something or if they know who said one of the overheard quotes,” said the account’s creator.
In addition to the popular Willamette-based comedy accounts, there are also accounts created by students that highlight more serious topics, one being @catcallsofwu.
The creator was inspired by @catcallsofnyc, an account featuring chalk-written statements on sidewalks of catcalls directed at people on the streets, with the purpose of acknowledging street harassment. Upon seeing that the content featured on @catcallsofnyc existed at Willamette but wasn’t being actively acknowledged, @catcallsofwu began.
“I want to convey that it’s something that needs to be talked about, it’s something that happens on campus and the administration really tries to downplay the rape culture that exists,” said @catcallsofwu. “We need to recognize that it’s still prevalent, and to do that I’m trying to start a conversation to make it clear that something needs to be done.”
Many other people from outside of Willamette began following the account, making the creator realize that this issue exists everywhere and people must put all of their efforts together to make a change. “It’s not just the Willamette community, it’s a worldwide community coming together,” the creator said.
These content creators have different ideas in mind but all serve to acknowledge the culture of the Willamette community in creative ways, whether it’s through memes, funny quotes or activism. It is through these accounts that students are able to connect and share all the encompassing aspects of their journeys at Willamette by bridging the gap between their online and offline identities.