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Sep 15 2016
by Natalie Day

Gone But Not Forgotten: Harambe Tributes Are Sweeping Across College Campuses

By Natalie Day - Sep 15 2016
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If you don't know about the Harambe trend, it's quite possible that you've been living under a rock or have been on a social media hiatus. Harambe, the gorilla who was shot dead at the Cincinnati zoo when a boy fell into his cage, has become a social media icon. Now, three months after his death, Harambe has turned into a popular meme, specifically on college campuses. Many colleges, not only around the country, but the world have chosen to remember Harambe in their own unique ways. We've seen these tributes popping up all over Twitter, as you can see below.

On college campuses, they're everywhere. Here's a closer look at the tributes that are keeping the memory of Harambe alive. 

1. Temple University

Photo Credit: Karly Matthews

At Temple University, many students chose to decorate their dorm windows with a variety of tributes, ranging from messages of "Bush did Harambe" to drawings, including the one pictured above. Walking across campus at Temple, you'll see these window tributes scattered across dorm windows everywhere. You can read more about Temple University's tributes here.

2. Syracuse University

Photo Credit: Taylor Lang

Similar to the tributes at Temple University, students at Syracuse are also remembering Harambe through messages displayed on their dorm windows. Pictured above, sophomore Keelie Hotchkiss and her roommates chose the vivid message of "RIP Harambe" and wrote it in post-it notes. Fresh U reported on this tribute more in depth, which you can read about here.

3. University of Massachusetts Lowell

It's no surprise that many colleges choose to remember Harambe. The men's soccer team at University of Massachusetts Lowell has chosen to dedicate one of their games to Harambe. You can read more about this unique tribute here

4. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Photo Credit: Nick Konz

At UNC Chapel Hill, Nick Konz and his roommates decided to pool their money to purchase this huge Harambe poster for their dorm. Plenty of people walk by in awe every day. They've even had a few questions on whether it was worth their money, but overall they've received generally positive reactions. When asked why they chose this poster as a tribute to Harambe, roommates Konz and Graham Gellin say, "Harambe is not just a gorilla, he is a legend. Harambe was you, me, us. Though Harambe's life is gone, he has awoken a new life in our society. Harambe is not dead though, for legends never die. Rest in paradise, gentle king Harambe. Rest in paradise."  

5. Sewanee: The University of the South

Photo Credit: Sydney Leibfritz

At Sewanee, there is a huge Harambe fan base. Sydney Leibfritz, a freshman, told Fresh U that during orientation, students were asked to describe their class. She says, "The bigger the word is in the poll, the more often it was submitted. The poll actually had to be shut down because so many people spammed it with Harambe."  Harambe is remembered throughout the country and that includes the freshman class at Sewanee: The University of the South.

6. Roger Williams University

At Roger Williams University, many of the dorm buildings have a mascot. These mascots travel between buildings, often appearing in the dining hall or at the rec center. At Roger Williams, you can find Harambe popping up around campus. Freshman Zoe Plumb says, "It shows that every dorm hall has a different personality. It really does create a funny atmosphere to counteract the amount of work we have to do. It also brings the freshman class closer." Zoe says you can find the gorilla in the most interesting places because they try to put Harambe in a different place than before.

7. McGill University

Photo Credit: Natalie Day

Not only is the United States grieving Harambe, but so is Canada. McGill University, located in Montreal, is hosting a candlelight vigil to tribute Harambe later this month. This event will be held at the campus, which is the center of downtown Montreal. Freshman Eesha Kodi shared her thoughts with Fresh U, saying, "I think that it's pretty cool that everyone remembers what happened to Harambe because news like this is fleeting and fast. It also kind of sucks because a lot of people treat it as a joke. Like death is death, and mocking it for whatever reason isn't cool." Harambe is so powerful his death is not only here in the United States, but all over the world.

8. Red Rocks Community College

  • At Red Rocks Community College, you could find spray painted boxes on the sidewalk. The boxes posed questions to students including, "When I was a kid, I wanted to be..." and "Today I am going to be...". Students were encouraged to write their answers on the boxes. Student Tommy Watts decided to use his answers as his Harambe tribute. Unfortunately, there aren't any pictures to show, but Fresh U spoke with Watts about why he chose to do this. He says, "I feel like Harambe was more than 'just a gorilla.' I feel as if he was the peace in our world, he was the moon to the Earth, he meant so much to all of us, and he was taken too soon. If I had to compare him to any historical figure, it would be Jesus Christ. He only wanted peace and love, yet we slaughtered him like an animal. Harambe isn't fully gone, his spirit still lives on through all of his followers and friends."

9. Columbia College Chicago

Photo Credit: Natalie Day

At Columbia College Chicago, there are a few different tributes on campus. The first, which is pictured above, is an anonymous tribute to Harambe found in the graffiti room of The Dwight Lofts Building. This room is painted white at the beginning of each year and artists are free to paint, write or draw anything they like in the room. One artist chose this vivid portrayal of Harambe, which sits along a doorway in the room. 

This isn't the only thing going on at Columbia. Two freshmen, Ben Polster and Martin Brablec have decided to make a mockumentary about Harambe. In this video, Harambe is brought back to life by a magical unicorn and decides to get revenge on the zookeeper. This satire is supposed to be a fun tribute to Harambe to remember how he brought people together and bring awareness to the issues of animal captivity. They both told Fresh U, "It’s the idea of Harambe because if he never died, the masses would’ve never realized his warming light. It’s the idea they are in love with, not the gorilla." Harambe lives on in the most unique ways, as we can see at Columbia.

10. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Photo Credit: Mike O'Connor

Freshman Mike O'Connor asked his Twitter followers if their college campuses were obsessed with Harambe or if it was just his. Fresh U reached out to him and he told us that there was a Harambe tribute party recently. Pictured above, a student at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor chose to spray paint "Schlissel shot Harambe" on a sidewalk. Schlissel is the president of the university. When asked his thoughts, he said, "I think it's pretty played out by now, like everywhere I go I see something about Harambe on campus. It's crazy that it happened so long ago and we're still hearing about it because normally things like that go away in a week."

Clearly Harambe still lives on, as he is still remembered on college campuses all over the country. #RIPharambe.


Lead Image Credit: Nick Konz

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Natalie Day - Columbia College Chicago

Natalie Day is a freshman at Columbia College Chicago and is double majoring in acting and writing. She has traveled to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and Jamaica for mission trips. Natalie spends her free time binge watching Netflix and working on her life long goal of becoming an old dog lady. Follow Natalie on Twitter and Instagram @nat__day.

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