On Nov. 10, Dining Services posted a meme from the Overheard at Rochester Facebook group that read, “I don’t always stay in an abusive relationship, but when I do it’s with the Buffalo Bills,” resulting in an apology email from Dining Services on Nov. 13.

The apology read, “Our choice of meme on Monday, Nov. 10, was a poor one. It was not intended to be offensive, but certainly showed poor judgment on our part. Our most sincere apologies to anyone who was offended by this posting. We take full responsibility for this lack of judgment and it is not something that we take lightly.”

Kevin Aubrey, Marketing Manager of Dining Services, also expressed his apologies on behalf of all of Dining Services.

The meme intended to play on the recurring trend of the Buffalo Bills football team entering each season with a positive outlook and a promise to exceed people’s expectations, when in reality, each season generally ends poorly for the team.

Director of Campus Dining Services Cameron Schauf commented on the unintended offensiveness of the posting.

“There is no filtering process involved,” Schauf said. He noted that the posts are taken from the Facebook group by one or two Douglass staff members,

printed out, and posted in an empty wall space that is not occupied by a menu.

“We’ve stopped posting these memes for now, and we are working on a filtering process,” Schauf said. He emphasized that the postings were supposed to be an easy, fun way to brighten the dining center, not to cause offense.

Freshman Lauren Shapse shared her opinion, stating that while the post was made with good intentions, it was in bad taste.

“I understand that this meme was meant to be a funny, harmless joke posted by a student through Facebook,” Shapse said. “I think the posting by Douglass was, although unintended to be, inappropriate.”

Another student, junior Aleeya Burrwell, thought that the meme was insensitive to victims of abusive relationships.

“Abusive relationships are nothing to kid or joke about,” Burrwell said. “The reason I believe there is a lot of backlash is simply the fact that memes like this belittle the actual issue. We live in a culture in which there is little to no sensitivity censoring […] are those 100 laughs that I’m going to get greater than the amount of people that I’m going to hurt emotionally?”


Kaplan is a member of

the class of 2018.

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