Words by Oliver Hales
I’d like to talk a little about the immature culture of insulting other local universities. This has become most prominent on the Facebook group Overheard at the University of Adelaide, which every year, like clockwork, goes through a hurried wave of anti-Flinders/UniSA memes. These posts, which often get quite a bit of attention, express a not-so-subtle message: if you don’t go to Adelaide Uni, you’re inferior and your degree will be less valuable.
However, this goes beyond just Facebook — it’s ingrained in our university’s culture. Obviously not everyone contributes to it, but we all accept it as commonplace. If you question it you get the standard response of, “They’re just jokes, okay? Stop finding offence in everything, it’s just a bit of fun rivalry. There’s no harm in it, after all, the other universities retaliate back.” Here’s the thing though: these jokes just aren’t funny anymore. They’ve become forced, crass, and above all else, childish. Some of them are downright offensive. Yeah, maybe it was funny the first time someone referred to UniSA as “Super Tafe” or called Flinders a second preference school, but it’s simply just beating a dead horse now. There’s no wit to it; it’s just blind arrogance at this point. Most of the memes you see have devolved to such a low standard, both in idea and editing, that it’s actually embarrassing. I wonder how it must look from an outside perspective, the perceived top dog pushing down the little guys — real classy. It’s exactly the type of high school class antics I hoped would have stayed in high school.
The funniest thing I can really say about the situation though is that people seriously think of Adelaide as being on some sort of pedestal. News flash everyone: we’re not an ivy league school, and we never have been. Adelaide isn’t Harvard, so why are we acting like we are? Sure, we’re the most prestigious in South Australia, but that translates to very little nationally (and before anyone utters the words “Group of Eight”, just try and explain what real significance that carries, because I still don’t know). What has happened to our humility? Literally who cares where somebody studies! University lasts for a few years and then it’s over. Stop mocking others for getting an education elsewhere. If we really are that great then we shouldn’t need to announce it so often, especially in such a crude, elitist manner. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being proud of where you go to school, but we need to stop being so insufferable about it.