This is Joshua Robinson Levine, a freshman at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. He's enrolled in a rhetoric and composition course in which he recently wrote a 1,700-word essay on the Dakota Access Pipeline.
After students handed in their essays, the course professor told BuzzFeed News he then asked the class to create a short presentation on their essay topics. He challenged them to use multimedia components as visuals.
"Each student was required to integrate — preferably to create their own — visuals for their presentation," Levine's professor, who chose to remain anonymous, explained. "Memes, tweets, and videos were encouraged."
And, um, this is how Levine chose to open his presentation on DAPL.
Apparently no one in class was ready to see the porn meme in an actual college course. Fellow classmate Bernadette Robyn Villalpando, who doesn't know Levine well, said she "laughed for at least two minutes."
When Villalpando tweeted about Levine's presentation earlier this month, it quickly went viral. Most people simply couldn't believe this happened in a college course. And they couldn't stop laughing about it.
But others couldn't fathom it for completely different reasons. They thought it represented the absolute worst traits about American universities.
Some called it "unprofessional."
And others thought it was downright "inappropriate."
But Villalpando, 19, defended the decision, and thought it got a lot of students in the class to pay attention to Levine's presentation on the DAPL. "We have an amazing professor who helps incorporate the latest trends/memes into class so it's really interesting and not boring," she said.
Their professor also defended his own assignment, as well as Levine's decision to use a porn meme. He said Levine even got a good grade on the presentation — but because he actually included substantive and researched points about DAPL.
What a time to be alive.
Tanya Chen is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in New York.
Contact Tanya Chen at email@example.com.
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