Last year, Her Campus UBC interviewed Snakes of UBC, a popular meme page in the UBC community (you can read the article here). Since then, the ‘Sauder Snake’ label has caused a sweeping controversy on campus, and has been taken even further than the page’s admin expected.
For those unfamiliar with the meme, it revolves around a stereotypical representation of the students in UBC’s Sauder School of Business. The running joke states that Sauder students are cold and calculating like snakes, a view that many Sauderites feel conflicted about. Regardless, the “Sauder Snake” identity is one that many business students happily embraced, and the meme was one of the many facets of friendly inter-faculty competition at UBC. That is, until this year’s Imagine Day pep rally.
There have been many retellings of the events that took place at the rally, but for those who did not attend the first they heard of it was from an anonymous post on the popular UBC Confessions page:
This post opened the floodgates for many similar complaints and reaction to come to the forefront.
On the opposite side, many people feel that the Sauder students who have spoken out are being too sensitive. After all, “Snake” is a label that some Sauder students wear with pride. Students from all faculties have spoken up and voiced their opinions in the ongoing debate.
Many people feel that the meme has gotten out of control. In the original interview Snakes of UBC granted to Her Campus, they said that “there’s no focus point for genuine hatred towards Sauder. It’s more like contemptuous banter that occurs between every faculty and school.” After the initial UBC Confessions complaint that sparked the online discussion, Snakes of UBC even posted an opinion on the situation, apologizing to UBC faculty and expressing regret at the page’s part in popularizing the meme. In the same note, they leveled the playing field in a both ruthless and somehow uplifting critique of UBC’s many faculties:
“Sauder students are sly and deceitful snakes who cut corners in their pursuit maintaining and improving the fragile economic glue which holds everything together […] Arts students pursue BA’s with no hopes of decent income and a future of minimum wage service jobs, yet their varied fields are emblematic of the growth of our socio-cultural identity […] Science students are asocial Gollums who start bullshit advocacy clubs to beef up their grad school applications, but they’re trying to pursue advances in medicine, advancing our understanding of the universe … Engineers are – just so many mental images involving drinking and trespassing with Volkswagens – yet they go on to build stuff, design stuff and actually strive to break stereotypes of engineering such as the ‘boys club’ … Forestry is either a bunch of tree-hugging hippies or a bunch of tree-hating lumberjacks, but we all need paper, wood and healthy forests equally so they are necessary … All the LFS students are going to be farmers or juice bar managers, but if anyone can help us manage our food security in this messed up world – it’s the Aggies.”
Even if it may be the current trend to poke fun at one particular faculty, when we boil it down it turns out that we’re in the same educational boat. Every faculty has its strengths and its laughable stereotypes. As Snakes of UBC said in their interview, “we’re all in this mess of a world together.”
It is an unfortunate truth in this world that what starts out as a harmless joke can grow out of control on such a huge scale. In response, this Her Campus writer has a piece of advice: Sauder students, try not to take it personally when someone slings a hiss or two your way. Other faculties, don’t confuse a meme with real life (remember all those people in the states who allegedly voted for Harambe?). We are all UBC students, and if there’s anyone we should really be hissing at, it’s the tuition office.
Photo credit: ubc.ca, snakes of ubc, ubc confessions