The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

‘Dank New Rand Memes’ Facebook page changes name to ‘Vandy Alumni For Palestine’ against Facebook policy

The name change comes on the same day that undergraduate student protestors from the Vanderbilt Divest Coalition began the Kirkland Hall sit-in.
VUPD+vehicles+stationed+outside+of+Kirkland+Hall%2C+as+photographed+on+March+26%2C+2024+%28Hustler+Multimedia%2FMiguel+Beristain%29
Miguel Beristain
VUPD vehicles stationed outside of Kirkland Hall, as photographed on March 26, 2024 (Hustler Multimedia/Miguel Beristain)

“Dank New Rand Memes,” a private Facebook page with 10,645 members dedicated to Vanderbilt memes, changed its name to “Vandy Alumni For Palestine” on March 26 and is associated with the group Vanderbilt Alumni for Palestine. According to a post on the page written by an administrator under the name “Vandyalumni Forpalestine,” the name was changed to “mobilize a wider base.” 

According to Facebook terms and policies for pages, groups and events, the name of a page, group or event cannot be changed “in a manner that significantly alters its existing purpose.” 

The page was created in 2016 by Phillip Goldberg (B.S. ‘18). In a 2017 interview with The Hustler, Goldberg explained that DNRM aimed to “bring the Vanderbilt community together.”

“When I first started the group, I picked the funniest people I knew, and I said you find the funniest people you know, you put them in, you get them started on this. It brings the community together through memes and sharing ideas of different communities and bringing up different perspectives,” Goldberg said in the interview. 

Goldberg did not respond to The Hustler’s request for comment. 

VAFP explained in a statement to The Hustler that the group was changed to draw attention to “complicity in the Israeli genocide of Palestine.” In the group, admin share links to an open letter to Vanderbilt administration and email templates for members to send directly to administration. 

According to group member Quentin Reynolds (B.A. ‘21), members of the group were not notified of the name change until it happened. Additionally, the only administrator on the page is under the name “Vandyalumni Forpalestine.” 

“I think that changing the ‘Dank New Rand Memes’ page into the ‘Vandy Alumni for Palestine’ page without any sort of warning to members was very inappropriate because the previous focus of the page had nothing to do with Palestine or Israel, or serious world issues in general,” Reynolds said in an email to The Hustler. “I understand that some people would like to raise support for Palestine, but randomly taking over a Facebook group is an exceptionally strange way to do so.”

On the same day of the name change, a group of 27 undergraduate protestors from the Vanderbilt Divest Coalition rushed into Kirkland Hall, calling on Vanderbilt administration to allow the student body to vote on an amendment to the VSG Constitution that would prevent VSG funds from being used on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement’s boycott targets. All students who entered the building have been placed on interim suspension, and four students and a Nashville Scene reporter were arrested. 

Through the group, VAFP said they aim to support the student protestors by sharing resources with alumni in the group. 

“It is now more important than ever for us alumni to stand together in support of these students and their goal of promoting freedom,” the VAFP statement reads. 

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About the Contributors
Jorie Fawcett
Jorie Fawcett, Senior Advisor
Jorie Fawcett ('25) is from Tiffin, Ohio, and studies secondary education and sociology in Peabody College. She previously served as Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor and Life Editor. When not writing for The Hustler, you can find her teaching, reading or pretending to study at Local Java or Suzie's. You can reach her at [email protected].
Miguel Beristain
Miguel Beristain, Senior Staff Photographer
Miguel Beristain (’24) is a philosophy and cellular and molecular biology double major in the College of Arts and Science from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. When not shooting for The Hustler, he can usually be found playing Magic the Gathering, exploring new restaurants or practicing guitar. He can be reached at .
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Comments (6)

The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
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L
Lo Meisel
2 months ago

weird that we’re spending time debating the morality of changing a Facebook group name when Israel has literally killed 10’s of thousands of people but go off I guess

V
Vandy Feminist
2 months ago

Palestine is the most welcoming place on Earth for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

C
Concerned student
2 months ago
Reply to  Vandy Feminist

This is such a weird line you all use. Yes, Hamas is homophobic. So does that mean it’s progressive to carpet bomb Gaza and kill thousands of Palestinian children? You know queer people die when they’re bombed or starved too

K
Kenneth Thomas
2 months ago

Do you not know what carpet bombing is?

C
Concerned student
2 months ago
Reply to  Kenneth Thomas

I do.

According to analysis of satellite data by remote-sensing experts at the City University of New York and Oregon State University, as many as 80% of the buildings in northern Gaza, where the bombing has been most severe, are damaged or destroyed, a higher percentage than in Dresden.”

https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/gaza-destruction-bombing-israel-aa528542

Many similar reports along with those of the IDF’s acknowledged use of non-guided bombs and bunker buster bombs as large 2,000 pounds in dense residential areas show that this urban bombing campaign is unprecedented in the 21st century, and is a textbook definition of carpet bombing.

C
Concerned student
2 months ago
Reply to  Vandy Feminist

Though I guess this shouldn’t be surprising. You all are just taking advantage of an opportunity to mock gay people who express political opinions you don’t like. “They have so many letters now! LOL!” The fact that there are queer people amongst the tens of thousands of dead and dying Palestinian civilians is irrelevant to you – or it may even be a bonus!