Published: October 26, 2023
Who Knew Cheese Memes Would Be So Popular?
One of the University’s strangest and most popular clubs has a mysterious origin story and a mighty manifesto: “Here to render due worship and obedience to cheese."
And while that sounds as serious as a blue Stilton, the founder and members insist the UT Cheese Club was started in jest, and no one imagined how the joke would lead to a gathering of the most devoted cheese connoisseurs on campus.
The club was started incognito by Kayden Kruchoski ’25, a graphic design major, who thought it’d be funny to make a fake Instagram account of an active cheese club at UT. The account originated in 2021, shortly after the start of Kruchoski’s freshman year.
"It started off as a joke. It was an Instagram meme account for the school,” explained Ava Piper ’23, a psychology major and a current Cheese Club member. Soon, the account attained peak popularity with UT students.
The memes posted were culturally relevant, often following a trend or popular meme template or referencing famous UT landmarks like the Sykes Chapel. There were posts about how to shut down insensitive jokes about cheese, and fun facts like “cheese is unable to breathe underwater."
People began to share and follow the little account that posted so much about cheese. When the account gained more traction, people started to speculate who was behind it, like in an episode of Gossip Girl.
Kruchoski prepared to reveal her identity at the Cheese Club’s inaugural meeting. Her expectations were set low for an in-person meeting, but the enthusiasm for the Cheese Club had already risen.
About three dozen people showed up, and the jig was up for Kruchoski.
Within weeks, thanks to the virality and hilarity of the meme posts, the clamor for a real Cheese Club was high enough that Kruchoski decided to start an official club through the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement (OSLE). As a registered student organization, the group was then able to receive funding from Student Government and join a community of over 200 active student organizations.
The club has hosted sporadic meetings since, with fan favorites like cheese judging, meme competitions, cheese-related PowerPoints and BYOC (Bring Your Own Cheese). The club includes vegan or lactose-intolerant members who bring vegan cheese for others to sample.
One of the most celebrated meetings of the Cheese Club was the PowerPoint meeting. In a packed room of one of UT’s biggest lecture halls, leaders tossed around slices of wrapped American cheese like a stadium giveaway and distributed exclusive Cheese Club membership cards, which were laminated yellow and white card that identified the member’s name and membership number. The meeting then proceeded to divide members into groups based on favorite cheeses to present their arguments to a panel of judges.
The group chat for the organization is active, too. People post almost daily photos of charcuterie boards they’ve made or obscure facts about cheese-making. For example, did you know how long it takes to brine a gouda wheel to perfection? Cheese Club members do.
"Yeah, the group chat is, like, painfully active,” Piper said. One member of the Cheese Club group chat isn’t even a UT student and just wanted to join a community that talked about cheese.
Memes and mozzarella aside, the Cheese Club provides a welcome reprieve from stressors like schoolwork and jobs.
"I guess it was a really nice break from life to just sit in a giant room with a bunch of people that were way too hyped up about the concept of cheese,” Piper said.
The Cheese Club continues to look for devotees to share their passion and welcomes anyone to follow @utampa.cheese.club on Instagram.
Story by Lena Malpeli '25