In the fall, the University hired Educational Marketing Group to recreate and revamp the image we, as a university, portray to the public. The result of this initiative was a new university brand—“Where great minds get to work.”
However, due to outsourcing, the marketing opportunities for students on campus were minimal. As such, UMW is not adequately putting its great minds to work. As writers and creative thinkers, we feel that this is a hypocritical image for the university to possess. Our students are advertised as intelligent, motivated, creative and ambitious, but how would anyone know? Students should not just be flaunted as achievement statistics for the UMW homepage; they should be involved in the creative process.
The University should have approached this new campaign as a way for students to showcase their talents. With the various majors offered here at UMW, ingenuity is never dull. The up-and-coming College of Business would have been an excellent place to start. The College of Business needs to be advertised, so what’s better than using student-made marketing strategies and brands? Since students are taught how to use marketing tools and proper techniques, the school should have had them implement their skills in the creation of their new image campaign. Students would take pride in their school-wide displayed work and gain confidence in this field of work. Not only would this opportunity exhibit our business school’s skills, it would give the students a real world experience to boost their resumes on the job search.
Instead of spending over $40,000 to reinvent the school image, UMW could have invested its time and money into programs desperately seeking new resources and technology. They could have expanded departments or hired a new adjunct professor. Professors have not received a raise in four years and could have benefitted from the additional money, opposed to the holiday Macy’s gift cards.
We, as a student body, are creative. We are thoughtful and eager to learn. And we care about Mary Washington. Instead of hiring an outside agency with no allegiance to the school, the University could have utilized the already present resources and encouraged the activities they so frequently promote—student involvement and innovation that goes beyond the typical undergraduate experience.