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Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Pioneer Public: Non-Point Park affiliated Spidey meme account

Courtesy of Spidey.
Courtesy of Spidey.

On most college campuses, you might expect the ‘unsung hero’ to be a professor that everybody likes or a student who wants to cause positive change while being very open about their identity. Here, Point Park Spidey turns this idea on its head, dressing as a green Spider-Man who wants to bring the campus community together through memes and positive attitudes.

Spidey created an Instagram page in Fall 2022, making one post that year. They made five posts in 2023 until the start of the fall semester that year. The account got modest attention in the beginning but now has over 200 followers. High engagement is not Spidey’s goal, though. Instead, they want to connect students in any way they can.

“I felt like a meme account was an easy way to encompass everyone, because you’ll see that there’s little sects of people going from musical and business, and they have all these great majors, but none of them are brought together at all,” Spidey said. “I posted something about the flooding in Downtown, and I noticed an influx of dancers follow me, which was a reminder that we all share this campus. We are all making marks on each other’s lives by sharing these common experiences.”

Picking a Spider-Man theme was done both out of a love for the character, but also because Spidey saw a connection between being a college student and the superhero.

“[Spider-Man] was always the ‘every man’ hero – he got kicked out of the school play, he got rejected, he lost someone,” Spidey said. “One of the things I love about him is that he goes through these things that we all go through, and he keeps going.”

Trying to spread positivity spans more than just posting quotes or thoughts on their Instagram page. Anytime students reach out to Spidey through direct messages asking for advice or help, Spidey tries to provide it in any way they can.

“Even with great therapists on campus, there’s always this underlying sense of foreboding with our generation,” Spidey said. “Don’t waste life that way, don’t waste how much good time you’re supposed to be living.”

On the theme of positivity, Spidey frequently receives supportive messages on the account. Almost every time they make a post showing any hint of them being unwell, students show up to not only support the page but the person behind it as well.

“I get so many people who see [the negative posts] and go ‘hey, do you need help?’” Spidey said. I don’t like making it about me, the people at Point Park are amazing. Some of these people will throw themselves at you just to make sure you’re okay. They’re the heroes.”

Point Park Spidey is not the first non-affiliated Point Park-related Instagram account. Others include several ‘PPU Missed Connections’ pages, which post anonymous text submissions that people send, as well as @ppuaffirmations, a meme account.

However, most of those accounts post infrequently. Spidey understands why this happens but hopes not to join them in their inactivity.

“I intend on riding this out, so when I’m gone, I need to find a successor — my ‘Miles Morales’ — to carry on the legacy,” Spidey said. [I] keep posting even through the rough times or the boring times. That makes people say, ‘oh this one is here to stay.’”

Representing as much of the student body as possible is something Spidey always hopes to do. They make sure not to tangle up the page with posts only about one school, while also giving a reason for every student to look at what Spidey creates.

“I make things that only relate to some people, but I always make sure it is coupled with stuff that’s relatable to everyone,” Spidey said. Like film majors, I know they have a room in West Penn that only they use, and I made a post about that. I remember thinking, ‘this won’t reach everyone,’ so on the second slide I try to post something for everyone. I always try to funnel my way into these communities and make sure I get everyone.”

With the rising recognition of Point Park Spidey spawned a parody Instagram account named “PPU Venom,” which recontextualizes Spidey’s posts by pasting the word “VENOM” in parts of the caption that directly relate to Point Park. Spidey did not anticipate this but finds the account funny.

“[PPU Venom] is our generation’s humor turned to its absolute limit, ” Spidey said. “It rips away from Point Park while still being called ‘Venomized PPU.’ They seem like good kids, whoever they are.”

As for Spidey taking off the mask and revealing who Point Park’s ‘Peter Parker’ is, that will not happen any time soon.

“Part of the reason I want to hide so much is that I don’t want anyone to think that Point Park Spidey is a film student or a dance student,” Spidey said. I just want it to be left as a nice little moment in time that, when I’m gone from this campus, nobody will know [who] Spidey was. I need to be everyone and no one at the same time.”

In the future, Spidey hopes to make at least one on-campus appearance in the green Spider-Man suit they have made, while remaining anonymous. Spidey did not give The Globe any hints to their identity.

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    PPUSpideyApr 17, 2024 at 12:08 pm