Getting students involved on campus is a daunting task to say the least. Be it clubs, student government or working at the The Hornet. If there isn’t a financial incentive most Fullerton College students would rather attend class and then leave campus where they can get back to their lives of “Pokemon Go,” friends and their jobs.
In this sense student institutions and organizations attempt to reach as many students, both new and returning, hoping to engage and persuade them to make FC not just another commuter college but a home that they can get the most college college experience at.
But what happens when said engagement goes wrong? Well in the case of the InterClub Council’s recruitment at FC’s Smart Start Saturday something did go wrong.
The ICC put out flyers trying to reach incoming freshman with some rather dry humor that could leave a sour taste in the mouths of some students.
Authored by the ICC president Jameson Hohbein, the flyer was informational with a few bullet points that some could call bad form. Along with informing students of their website, it included some points stating “meet good looking people” and “all the cool kids are doing it”.
Seems harmless, right? To most people, it is just a cheesy attempt at humor, but buried underneath are connotations of body shaming and peer pressure.
To say that you will meet good-looking people loosely states that non-attractive people might not be worth one’s time to talk to or get to know. With body shaming a rising problem in society, this might not be adding fuel to the fire, but it sure isn’t trying to put it out either.
As the saying goes, looks are fleeting and get lost with age, but personality is forever. I can only hope I’m not a cynical asshole for the rest of my days.
The next point on the roster wasn’t as inflammatory or offensive but it still raises eyebrows.
When I hear the phrase “All the cool kids are doing it,” it takes me back to those cheesy D.A.R.E. videos that actually made me more interested in drugs and popularity than they did dissuade me from partaking in illegal substances. McGruff for the win!
But back to my point. Are all the cool kids really joining clubs? Are we, the many, who might be too busy with large class loads, work or families just a bunch of squares that have no friends and eat our lunch in the bathroom stalls alone and sad.
Of course not.
I don’t know if the scientific or mathematical community has come up with an experiment or formula to determine the value of cool yet, but I do know that cool is in the eye of the beholder. Many bros feel it is cool to repeatedly give themselves minor brain damage and concussions by refusing to dispose of their Coors Light can without first crushing it on their foreheads. Me, not so much, but only because they don’t usually recycle.
With all this, the take away is that student government and organizations need to be more careful when trying to engage students and spreading information. In order of importance, their priority should be: Inclusion, activities, recruitment, fun and then try to be funny.
I get the flyer was meant to be funny, but it wasn’t to most. This should have been caught before it was printed and if not then, before it was passed out. After all, student government is just that–students. We have advisers, college and district employees that should be there to catch potential mistakes.
Unfortunately, we live in a hyper politically correct world. College may be a place to discover new things and find yourself, but dry humor from a political official is best left to amateur night at an open mic night where it can be criticized properly, not official college governmental business.