Lund Memeversity in collaboration with ESN Lund launches competition to name best international student life meme.
In collaboration with Erasmus Student Network (ESN) Lund, Lund’s Memeversity, a popular meme page on Facebook, has launched a meme contest. International and Swedish students alike from across Lund University are encouraged to send in funny captioned images by 21 May with prizes promised for winning entries, including a medal and a framed copy of their meme.
Lund’s Memeversity was founded in 2017 by Gustav Christensson, a medical student, attracting thousands of followers in its first months. Originally, the page poked fun at the plight of medical students. Over time, the popularity of Christensson’s page spread throughout the University, having accumulated over 20 000 likes on Facebook.
Now in its fourth year, Lund’s Memeversity has launched a meme competition together with ESN Lund. “For four years I’ve made memes about Lund’s student life, and people seemed to like them”, explained Gustav Christensson. But he credits the idea of the meme contest to Adrian Reyes, a master student in physics and ESN Lund’s “Party Ambassador”.
Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is a student organisation created in 1989 initially aimed at helping exchange students “learn about their [exchange] countries and cities”, says Reyes. Now, ESN is a Europe-wide network of associations in 42 countries with both local and exchange students taking part in activities such as hikes, parties, trips and sports events.
With the pandemic having completely changed ESN’s activities, Reyes looked towards a collaboration with Christensson. They have known each other since 2018 as long-time active members of Kalmar nation.
Lund’s Memeversity has also suffered because of the pandemic. With submissions flowing in en masse at the pandemic’s onset in March 2020, this collective enthusiasm petered out over the following months. Gustav Christensson feels that the pandemic is taking a toll both on the quality and quantity of memes. “In these times, it’s hard to find inspiration”, he says. “I’m running out of ideas. I don’t have a lot of things to meme about”. The novel meme contest should solve his predicament.
Currently, the plan is to have ten finalists for the meme competition, although some details may be revised depending on the number of submissions.
Gustav Christensson is not fazed by the recent uptick in ‘rival’ meme accounts, such as @vildanden_memes, @kamnarsmemes or Uppsala University’s meme page. With respect to the latter, “it’s clear who the real winner is in this race”, Christensson explains with a broad grin, hinting at the omnipresent rivalry between the universities of Uppsala and Lund.
What does the future hold for Lund’s Memeversity? “One day the meme page will shut down, but I will leave the scene for other meme pages to rise”. Gustav Christensson says that he “will not make any promises” about who will take over or how the page will end, but he emphasises that “while there are ideas, there will be memes.”
ESN Lund and Lund’s Memeversity are both looking forward to receiving many submissions over the coming weeks to the meme contest. Memes are due in by 21 May, with finalists being announced on 23 May.
“The page I started would not be the page it is today without the hundreds of fan submissions that I’ve received over the years”, says Christensson as he makes a heart shape with his hands in front of the camera during our Zoom call. He concludes: “Big heart to all our fans”.