[Wildcat Online: opinions] [ad info]





Consumer Campus


Arizona Daily Wildcat

By Zack Armstrong
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
November 26, 1999
Talk about this story

We live in an age consumed by commercialism. Everywhere we turn we are bombarded with advertisement after advertisement. Everything is for sale and everything is in competition with everything else. Television commercials. Radio commercials. Billboards. A person can pick up any magazine on the shelf and not be the least bit surprised to find that over half of the pages are ads. With all of these tactics employed, the littering of our campus with corporate America is not necessary and needs to be cleaned up immediately.

There is not a day out of the week when I can walk down the Mall without being hit with some kind of company promotion. It feels like I'm at a state fair being approached by a slew of carnies trying to get me to throw a dime in a shot glass or pop a balloon with a dart. Leave me alone. The university is using its position as a center for the type of person that a college attracts to make money. As if they are not making enough money from tuition. They turn "people who want to become educated" into "leads" and sell them to the highest bidder. College students are nothing more than a target group to these people.

I first started to notice the lengths that this was going to when everywhere on campus I went to solely served Pepsi. Now if my memory serves, when I looked at this school before I went here, they had Coke too. Then suddenly, no Coke. Even the McDonald's on campus serves Pepsi. This is no good. This just feels like they're telling me what to drink. Only recently has Coca-Cola started to resurface on campus and that's only in bottles that cost about a dollar each.

Last year's Nike controversy made the phenomenon more public. This was mostly due to the issue of sweatshops, but the fact remains. We invited another corporate presence onto our campus to infect our minds with persuasive advertising.

Recently, Toys'R'Us was on campus. Toys'R'Us on a college campus. I guess they were here recruiting, but their enormous circus tent out on the mall sure felt like an advertisement to me. They were also distributing yo-yos to all that passed by, so not only did their advertising spread throughout the rest of the campus, but I was forced to watch every yahoo that got one try to show off their incredible prowess in the art of yo-yo.

I like Tucson so much because of the almost small town feel in what is actually a pretty large city. This is mainly due to the existence and prevalence of small and privately owned businesses. The "cookie-cutter" infection that is sweeping through the rest of America is only in the earliest stages here. Every small town and suburb has a Taco Bell, a Starbucks and a Wal-Mart. All of these towns are starting to look very much alike. The scary thing is, even the Wal-Marts are starting to look alike. They all have similar floor plans so no matter which one you go to, you can find your way around. It won't be long until towns are built this way too.

As a university and a center of education, I think that it is our responsibility to set an example. We need to start standing up against these corporate sponsors before it's too late. I'm tired of being thought of as a target, as just another number in a sea of consumers. If we let it happen here, it will just keep spreading. Keep our campus clean. Get rid of corporate consumption.

[end content]
[ad info]