It started out as a seemingly harmless Facebook page. Its contents ran the gamut from making light of Georgia College’s unofficial status as a suitcase college to making run-of-the-mill complaints about parking.
But the posts also included racially and culturally insensitive remarks.
The “GCSU Memes” page came online on Feb. 11 and as of Wednesday, it had more than 1,700 “likes” and 270-plus memes.
The same day, college administrators stepped in and offered advice about the page.
In a campus-wide email, Interim President Stas Preczewski wrote, “After viewing these ‘MEMES’ (defined as Internet images/postings that rapidly convey a concept or culture), I immediately and adamantly state my belief that the current postings are personally offensive and counter not only to our GC culture and values, but to any civilized culture or organization.”
Preczewski said he respects the freedom of expression, but urged those who see the memes to condemn them.
I agree to an extent.
On their face, the majority of them may be seen as mindlessly funny, but some of them are blatantly offensive.
The most obvious are the memes that many are dubbing as racist. They have been removed from the page.
The most offensive one read, “Went to GCSU and saw a brother. Yeah, he was in Centennial talking to Terry Sellers.” The words were placed over an image of black children. For those of you who don’t know, Sellers is the basketball coach.
That is obviously racist in every sense of the word.
Posts that target organizations on campus are offensive, too, but have not yet been removed.
One reads, “DD’s are for pussies. I’m in SGA”
This is obviously offensive to the Student Government Association and should be offensive to any student at Georgia College.
“Big celebrity came to Milledgeville. Didn’t rape anybody,” reads another. Rape and sexual assault victims in general would be offended by this meme.
These are just a few examples; many more still remain on the page.
Though some of the memes are distasteful, I support their existence. The right of free speech and expression is something every person should covet. Free speech is an integral part of our society, but I think the posters of this content should reconsider the places they are posting. A Facebook page bearing our university’s name might not be the best forum.
Post the stuff on your personal Facebook or blog instead.