We spoke to the Furness Flat behind that genius Elmo post-it artwork

#justiceforelmo is circulating around their neighbours flats

Every year student accommodation at Lancaster University transforms into a post-it note replica of the Tate Modern. Freshers plaster their windows in neon post-its to assert themselves as the best flat in their block, and walking through the county townhouses at the start of term feels like walking through a fluorescent rave. We’re used to seeing “Bowland Til We Die” or “Bev?” made up of tiny yellow squares on uni windows, but this year a Furness Flat of eight freshers’  constructed the Elmo kneel meme as part of the College Wars competition. They didn’t win, but they deserved to.

The Furness Flat consists of eight freshers’: Maisie, Tom, Becca, Mel, Dan, Jasmine, Ned and Rowan. They had all lived together for a week before capturing the attention of students with their Elmo construction.

The post-it note artwork was built as part of Lancaster University SU College Wars. Usually, colleges go head-to-head as part of Patriots, Warriors or Legends.  For 2020 freshers, the distanced College Wars asks Freshers to represent their college by taking part in daily tasks which are announced at 12pm and are to be submitted to their college JCR by 4pm. Each individual JCR will decide which flat’s submission best represents their college which will then be sent to battle entries from other colleges before a winner is crowned.

From left to right: Tom, Maisie, Rowan, Ned, Jasmine, Mel, Becca and Dan

The Furness Flat were told to “go all out” for the College Wars post-it note competition yesterday, “so we did” Jasmine says. Tom explained that they “used the word kneel because of it’s threatening energy” and exclaimed that they really truly, just wanted to win.

The idea to construct the ‘Elmo Kneel Meme’ came from Dan, who said: “I saw the Elmo thing while looking for pixel art – I thought it would look cool in the window, didn’t think it would go this far.”

Everyone contributed to the project, that took “about an hour” and even managed to gather a crowd outside of their flat due to their efforts. About 90 minutes after they began constructing the artwork, Jasmine returned to the flat after going for a walk with her course mates: “I lost my shit! Loudly! I expected them to do something good but I wasn’t expecting that good!”

Jasmine’s course mates stood to take photos of the piece, the crowd consisted of around 20 people taking photos of the masterpiece – it’s all very Mona Lisa in The Louvre.

One hour and 220 post-it notes later, The Furness Flat found that they did not win the College Wars that day – they lost to County College. “This is the outrage” Maisie explains, “we have protest signs in our window and so do other Furness flats.” Becca adds, “That’s why we changed it to kill.”

“Kill came when we lost and Elmo’s wrath was unleashed” Masie says, “Even one of the county flats prefer ours – we’ve asked our JCR president to talk with LUSU about the results of today’s college wars.”

In response to the Furness Flat losing against County, their neighbour flats have shown support by putting up ‘#justiceforelmo’ signs in their windows.


For second and third year students, it might be assumed that Freshers’ week this year is not what it should be, there is no Sugarbus or crawling into Sultans at four am to get some curly fries. But for this Furness Flat, they’ve found being 2020 Freshers’ “very fun”.

They all agreed that their flat had bonded “super quickly” and that the College Wars gave them “something to bond over”. When asked if there were any other design ideas that made the cut, they confirmed there was none: “No, Elmo is the only one for us.”

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