A slew of paper notes with “Among Us” characters printed on them was removed from the Spirit Bench in late September, an act of protest later determined to be because this particular phrase was removed by moderators of Pacific University’s official instant messaging service Discord, Boxercord.
A student taped purple paper cutouts from the video game “Among Us” and a paper proclaiming “Bring Back Among Us Dab” to the Spirit Bench on September 20. The characters were taped over a bench paint celebrating Mexican Independence Day. The papers were removed by the end of the day. Greek Life rules state that the bench should be completely covered with paint upon change, according to a 2019 Index article.
What follows is a somewhat confusing backstory to the messages on the bench. “Among Us Dab” is a reference to the Pacific University official Discord server, Boxercord, where users can send instant messages in chat channels and speak online in voice channels to each other. On this general channel, users have been repeatedly posting messages such as “I love boxercord!” and multiple emoji of an “Among Us” character dabbing. In order for this particular emoji to appear in a message, a user must specifically type out the phrase “amongusdab.” That phrase was pasted all over the Spirit Bench last month.
The theory is that online, this particular emoji was banned earlier in September, thus leading some disgruntled students to instead paste paper cutouts of the emoji to the Spirit Bench.
“It was literally a day later,” said Boxercord moderator Duc Khong. Moderators later added the emoji back to the server.
According to Khong, moderators believe the increase in trolling began when new freshmen and transfer students joined the server over the summer. Boxercord was also added to Pacific University’s “Student Hub” in September, which allows users to join the server by connecting a Pacific email to their Discord account.
Former Undergraduate Student Senate (U.S.S) VP of Leadership Anna Kim started the Boxercord project during Winter Break of the 2020-2021 school year, according to Boxercord moderator Vinh Pham. Pham said he hadn’t received an update from U.S.S. since the end of the 2020-2021 school year. “I don’t really know what to do,” he said.
Current U.S.S. Vice President of Leadership Izzy Tayo said the Student Senate was putting greater focus on in-person events during the 2021-2022 year, rather than the digital space of Boxercord.
“If there is still interest in having that space, we’ll look into it,” Tayo said, “but I’d mostly be asking questions about Discord, because I don’t know how it works that well.”
For the time being, server moderators are deleting unused chat channels and emojis in an attempt to focus the server better.
“We don’t need that many channels if they’re not put to good use,” said Khong.
Moderators still see value in the server, despite “I do feel like it’s easier to make friends online than it is in person,” said Khong. “It’s a little intimidating for someone with social anxiety to talk to someone in person.” — Quint Iverson
Disclosure: Quint Iverson is an “E-Sports Developer” on the Boxercord Discord instant messaging server, and has the ability to add and delete channels for users to send messages in. He has run events on Boxercord in the past via ACE Board, and took part in a Boxercord staff meeting in May.