Meme pages like “Nutty Anselm” both blessing and curse


Couresty/Andrei Joldes - Pixabay

“Robert the Squirrel” serves as an alias for students running the Nutty Anselm page.

Kathryn Williams, Editor-In-Chief

Are college meme pages a waste of time? Some may say yes, but that does not matter to Saint Anselm College students.
Outside of official school accounts, many unofficial Saint Anselm focused accounts have popped up across various social media platforms. Instagram in particular is a popular medium for this type of content.

The most notable meme page is undeniably Nutty Anselm (@nuttyansem123 on Instagram). The name of the account is ‘Robert the Squirrel,” an alias that pays tribute to the squirrel population on campus. The account is currently run by a group of students, but we do not know how many or who they all are.

Regardless of whether you love it or hate the account, as I’ve heard very mixed opinions throughout my time on the Hilltop, you cannot deny that Nutty Anselm has some influence on this campus. The account has just under 3,000 followers, including students, parents, deans, school clubs, and even the official Saint Anselm Instagram account.

These types of accounts can provide entertainment and comic relief for students. It can be fun to laugh and joke about campus happenings. Sharing these Saint A’s exclusive jokes can foster a sense of community even through a phone screen.

Could people spend their time in a more productive way than scrolling through a meme page? Maybe, but that does not always matter.

College students deal with a heavy workload and lots of pressure. Doing something mindless can be beneficial if it gives the brain a rest when it really needs it or takes students’ minds off of their problems for a moment.

Sure, many students complain about AVI and other administrative decisions, but it takes the edge off a bit when you can laugh about it along with hundreds of others who understand what you are experiencing.

Anyone can submit posts to this account and anonymity is always an option. Where the account runs into trouble is when comments or posts start to toe the line of harmless humor and offensiveness. I think anyone who has followed Nutty Anselm has probably found themselves at one point or another watching battles in the comment section.

Of course, those who run the account have the power to delete anything, but it would appear that one of the goals of the page is to allow students to speak openly even when they disagree.

I believe that this is an inherently good thing. Students deserve a place where they can freely express themselves, especially in an incredibly competitive, non-stop college culture.

The new dining vendor, AVI, has been the source of many memes on Nutty Anselm and complaints seem to dominate the world of conversation on campus. Recently, AVI held a town hall meeting that was open to the public, in which posts from Nutty Anselm were discussed.

Following the meeting, an apology post was uploaded from the account expressing remorse for any harm that came from their content. “This comedic relief for us was at the expense of the staff we love so very much. And for that we apologize,” wrote the anonymous author.

It is abundantly clear that, even though the account has no legitimate affiliation with the school, that higher-ups observe what is being posted and that it does influence their actions in some ways. For example, the Catalina Wine Mixer being cancelled after administrators found out about the event via social media posts by Nutty Anselm.

There have been rumors flying around about the College administration trying to regulate the content of the page, but that is not confirmed. The bio of the Instagram account clearly states that the account is not affiliated with Saint Anselm College, so I cannot imagine there are many ways for the school to control the account. Again, we also do not know if that is even one of their intentions and we should not speculate.

By having the account be relatively unfiltered, aside from blocking harmful content, Nutty Anselm and similar social media accounts provide glimpses into the real feelings of the student body. Especially since people have the option to put forth anonymous content.

Anyone can say anything from behind a screen, likely being more blunt and outright than they would if speaking with the administration or another authority figure. This in itself can be a double-edged sword, as people who post anonymously are protected, but also do not have to face the consequences of their words.

I think that social media profiles like Nutty Anselm can be a forum for laughter, entertainment, and a unifying force for the student body. However, it is imperative that those who follow the account and those who run it be aware of crossing the line.

Comment ‘battles’ over insignificant or funny issues can be harmless. But let’s be honest, does anything good ever really come from arguing with someone online? Especially when it comes to more serious or emotionally charged issues, comment sections are not the best medium for dialogue. I’m in support of using these platforms as a creative, social outlet, not to harm others.

Keep sharing your jokes on Nutty Anselm, but if you ever have an opinion you are particularly fired up about, consider submitting it to the opinion section of The Crier.