Editorial: UTC student goes viral for graduation photo

(Photo Contributed by twitter.com/BrennaSpencer)

On April 7, UTC student Brenna Spencer posted a photo of her posing in front of the Walnut Street Bridge while she shows off a gun in her waistband with a tweet reading “I don’t take normal college graduation photos…” and since that moment, she has been a viral topic of discussion.

In nine days, the photo has received over 18,000 retweets, over 33,000 replies and just over 116,000 likes. Due to the increased interaction, Spencer’s twitter following has jumped from almost 2,000 to 58,000 followers.

Since the photo has surfaced on Twitter, the phrase “I don’t take normal graduation photos…” has become a viral meme on Twitter and other social media platforms.

As a staff, the Echo thinks that one of the biggest issue with the photo is that it speaks for the citizens of Chattanooga and students of UTC. She is what people who know nothing about UTC and Chattanooga, now associate with our school and city. We think that the photo is disrespectful of the Walnut Street Bridge and the history behind the historic Chattanooga landmark that has been around since 1889.

In relation to giving the community and UTC a bad name, we think it’s contradicting that she’s approaching the situation from a feminist standpoint in support of Trump who has been known for his mistreatment and disrespect of women.

We think that social media was a huge influence on the idea of the graduation photo and we don’t think she would’ve taken the photo in a world without social media.

We think that this situation is very similar to “The Chalkening” situation that happened on UTC’s campus in 2016 where a political stance for attention went viral. We feel like the photo not only makes the university look bad but also those students who go to UTC.

Altogether, we think she did it strictly to get attention and she got what she wanted by going viral and becoming a meme. Even though we didn’t agree with the photo or the purpose of the photo, we appreciate all of the memes that came out of it.

The opinions expressed in editorials represent those of Echo editorial members.

Chris King

Chris King


Chris is a Hendersonville native that was named the Sports Editor in April 2017 after being the Assistant Sports Editor since January 2016. Chris enjoys watching and learning more about various different sports, especially football and basketball. He plans to graduate in spring of 2018 with a degree in Communication and a minor in Promotion.

  1. Love how you completely disrespect Mrs. Spencer in this article. Maybe you should look to take a non bias stance on stories instead of giving your half thought out, completely idiotic opinion. There is nothing “disrespectful” about her picture and to say the only good that came out of this is a couple good memes goes to show me how intellectually challenged the editors of the Echo really are.

  2. This is ridiculous. You claim Brenna is representing UTC and Chattanooga, but you do the exact same thing, claiming that the Echo and UTC doesn’t agree with her at all, but I know she has support from many people. This article is hypocritical and distasteful. Journalism is supposed to be unbiased as much as possible, but you’ve published a left-wing article bashing a fellow student for her opinion.

  3. The irony of a woman wearing a shirt supporting a misogynist and racist, in front of a bridge that was used to lynch blacks. If I run into this idiot on campus, she’s gonna get a mouthful.

  4. She’s young and misguided. I recommend she dig in and do her research about that guy’s behavior and record and the purpose of the Second Amendment. She may do well to reading statistics and facts and laws with regard to gun laws.

    She’s free, as all Americans are, to post her photo and comment, no matter how repulsive and ignorant it is.

  5. Is this intended to be received as an official opinion of the UTC Echo? I realize it’s an editorial, but the language strongly implies a corporate, formal response from the public university paper.

  6. This is the biggest load of BS I’ve ever read. Everyone has their right to opinion and freedom of speech and the fact that she did that and I being shamed for it is astonishing. UTC is very biased with their students and tends to contradict itself. As a former student, I saw daily that the university makes impulse decisions and does not thoroughly examine situations before making judgement. In an more simple term, the university is run by sensitive children who are too immature to gather facts or evidence.

  7. Don’t you worry Echo staff… No one would mistake you as Conservatives, much less people who uphold every citizen’s right to the First Amendment.

    This girl’s photo’s are a reflection of her beliefs. In no way does she imply it as a representation of the city or the university.

    Be honest… if it were some liberal tripe, you’d be applauding it.

    For example, the Echo praised the March For Our Lives nonsense as an exercise in free speech and human rights. Somehow this student isn’t allowed the same right because her opinion is different than yours?

    Typical hypocritical libs.

  8. Go screw yourself Diane – your a typical leftist who thinks anyone who disagrees with yo is “misguided”.

  9. 116,000 likes tells me that her opinions and attitude has a lot of support. My guess is that is what you really do not like. Don’t worry Echo staff, the vast, vast majority of those who like the picture do not give rip about Chattanooga, the bridge or UTC. Further, you do not get to own the definition of what constitutes a “feminist” and whether they can support Trump or not. I applaud Brenna’s confident and take no cr*p attitude as exemplified by her picture and statement. Betcha no one who has seen the picture will try to assault her.

  10. Everything you wrote is just wrong. She did not provide a bad image for the city or the school. She exercised free speech and her opinion is shared by most of this community and the country. Your view is outside the norm. That is evidenced by the numbers you had in your article. You may disagree but what you wrote is just wrong and factually incorrect.

  11. Since when does a collegiate graduate who in fun, post a picture that shows her support for the sitting president and her constitutional right to carry a firearm become disrespectful to the city of Chattanooga. Brenna has brought positive attention to this city. You should be thanking her you hate filled bias piece of crap that you are.

    You owe an apology to Brenna as well as all who support her. This paper is a joke.

  12. I don’t know anything about UTC (even that it existed) and Chattanooga and now associate your school paper as a leftist rag run by liberal wannabes. She has every right to pose for a picture however she chooses. The picture suggests that there is at least one conservative student on campus who is willing to speak her mind about her personal beliefs. The audacity to tweet about it and blow up the number of her followers is . . . oh my gosh . . . such a Hollywood, liberal thing to do, yet you are so concerned about it. You will graduate into the real world soon. Better buckle up or get a job with the Times or Post. Good for her!

  13. “Altogether, we think she did it strictly to get attention and she got what she wanted by going viral and becoming a meme. Even though we didn’t agree with the photo or the purpose of the photo, we appreciate all of the memes that came out of it.”

    You’re joking, right?

  14. Being a diverse campus with freedom to have and discuss different opinions is what most intelligent people would expect from a great university. Not the my way or the highway approach.

    One thing I saw in the news that did make UTC look bad was this extra credit assignment a UTC professor offered. A professor, with an agenda, who can’t manufacture a rant worthy of being blocked shouldn’t be giving out grades in a desperate attempt to do so.

    ‘All,’ the professor began, ‘Here are the details of the Twitter Extra Credit assignment: Simply write a tweet for @realDonaldTrump and email it to me. It may not contain profanity or personal threats.

    ‘I’ll post them from my Twitter account. If your tweet successfully gets my account blocked by @realDonaldTrump, you will receive five points on your final grade and a free absence.

    ‘This will run through the end of the semester, or until someone wins,’ he added. ‘As always, let me know if you have any questions. Good luck.’

  15. Oh look, shocker, a fat-libtard-prog-pig has a problem with a very attractive conservative woman that doesn’t subscribe to the leftist group-think, can think for herself, and doesn’t play the victim card. However, let’s be honest – the real animosity from the author stems from the fact that the only sexual pleasure she has, and will ever know, come from herself. Fat marxist pig.

  16. Here is the link to the “Editorial Staff”. Take a guess which fat fem-pig that will never feel the touch of a man wrote this article. Remember, Liberal “women”, and I use that term loosely, hate men and are about as attractive as a steaming pile of steaming bovine feces (case in point look at the editorial staff “females”); and beta-male liberal men prefer other men. LOL good for you, you marxist pigs!

  17. UT-Chumpanooga Social Justice Warriors. You’d prefer her getting raped and murdered, to defending herself against thugs and criminals.

  18. Now this paper is deleting comments. There are 3 missing. I bet those were the comments that supported this God awful hit piece. Lol

  19. Found something else by which to pretend you’re offended, did you? Nothing to see here, move along.

  20. Awww. Snowflake leftists can’t take criticism. Yet they call Republicans and Conservatives fascists. As evidenced by the editorial staff deleting negative comments. The irony is beyond belief….

  21. Does this University actually teach THE CONSTITUTION? The student discussed is constitutionally protected…your being “OFFENDED” Isn’t.

    This is “exhibit A” for the term SNOWFLAKES” when describing today’s University students who need Safe Spaces.

  22. You ought to thank Ms Spencer for bringing your school notoriety. I would venture to guess most Americans have never heard of UTC.

    That you think all women should hate Trump is laughable. Since when are women forced to hate Trump … or be traitors to their womanhood? I guess blacks should only support democrats or rosk being called uncle Tom. Right?

  23. Breanna Spencer has my support and the support of millions of Americans. Screw off, you disgusting, miserable leftists. The Echo is trash. What’s wrong with expressing her first and second amendment rights?

  24. All the complaining about her is what makes you look bad.
    Her photo reflected her. It was her graduation picture…not the town’s or the school’s or the bridge’s picture.
    Get off your high horse.

  25. Speaking as a guy who graduated back in the 1980s from a state college in California let me offer this advice to any young men out there thinking about finding the ‘right girl.’

    If a you as a young man have a choice between a beautiful and powerful young woman such as Brenna Spencer or a ‘woke’ ‘feminist’ who sports Planned Parenthood t-shirts at ‘resistance’ rallies you have only one choice.

    Find a way to win Brenna Spencer and get her to marry you. You will be a happy and lucky guy.

    BTW, you can ignore the insipid and turgid op/ed at this student newspaper.

    Remember – marry a woman like Brenna Spencer if you want a great life.

  26. I find your tolerance and diversity lacking and your article the mean spirited and obtuse work of a rabid fascists.

  27. Actually, Brenna Spencer’s photo made me admire her and your school for having attracted such an apparently independent thinker, a strong woman, and a noncomformist. It made me think more highly of Chattanooga and UTC. I thought maybe the university isn’t as close-minded and hostile to free speech as so many universities are. I thought, “Bravo UTC!” I hope your editorial only represents a very tiny point of view. Trust me, there are a great many people out here who think Brenna Spencer is someone to celebrate.

  28. You keep talking about we, but you mean you. You certainly do not speak for all UTC and Chattanooga. Your ego is definitely showing when you act as if you do. UTC has a proud history of supporting the 2nd Amendment, NRA and the peoples right to self defense from both criminals and repressive governments. You talk as if you are the moral authority but certainly do not speak on the issue of deaths caused by terrorists, bats, knives and murderers. You speak only about a person showing their support for self defense and do it to bully her into silence. You are the reason that she owns a gun. You are the person who wants to take away rights and impose your views using Stalinist tactics.

    In short you are the very reason the second amendment exists. You are trying to exert your views upon her and take away her rights to self defense. A right which every man, woman and child has and IS NOT GRANTED BY YOU, THE UTC, THE CITY, STATE or GOVERNMENT. It is granted by right of being born. No person should place their lives in anyone else’s hands but their own.

    the author of this misguided Triggered bigoted intolerant Gibberish must be using this to try and get Randa Jarrars recently vacated position
    You make the point of your hate , ignorance and Snowflakeness by referencing the Chalkings.. arguably the most Triggered ridiculous crap that liberalism is known for

  30. Sad, hurt and damaged at such a young age for you to write such a web of emotional connections to the background and your fellow student choice of carry and clothing.
    Real journalist of which very few today, real opinion of which very few today with truth and real editors with truth of which very few today do not pick apart such things !
    Truth and being unbiased will set you and your mind, heart free as well when you lie down and think and relax before going to sleep.

  31. Woman did something she wanted and which gave her an image she wanted: strong, intelligent and attractive.. It did not reflect on you, it expressed herself.

    Your closed mindedness and illogical criticism of anything close to individualism speaks volumes to why our nation is under the current cloud of tolerating anything except the truth.

    My children will not be supported if they choose UTC Chattanooga.

  32. Mean-spirited and biased editorial from University Echo. Surely you don’t expect us to believe you represent more than a fraction of the students and faculty there.

    Brenna is beautiful, strong, articulate, and smart. She speaks for herself and is to be admired. I’d be proud to have her as a daughter, that’s for sure.

    As for the Echo staff, I suggest you get a life or lives as the case may be. You are to journalism what Butch Jones was to your football program.

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