Wrong approach to UD St. Patty’s day campaign

By: Kevin Carlin – Senior, Finance

You’ve probably seen posters around campus warning students about the negative consequences that can arise from throwing forties at police officers at 4 a.m.

Now, I will ignore how UD’s marketers missed an opportunity to properly turn a phrase.

Nothing says we cherish community like threatening people’s financial aid for drinking beer outside on a holiday more or less designated to do so.

I fully recognize that UD was going to come up with some kind of campaign about St. Patrick’s Day given last year’s disturbance. And for all intents and purposes, I refuse to call what occurred last year a riot because it simply wasn’t, The Long Hot Summers of the late 1960s were riots, Belfast in 1972 was a riot, Los Angeles in 1992 was a riot, what happened on Kiefaber last year in the wee hours of the morning were embarrassing and drunken shenanigans that were over-corrected by police.

I’d like to know who decided to call in 12 local police forces. In my opinion, that overkill was what drew national attention to the incident and caused hundreds of de-commitments from high school seniors.

I apologize for that tangent, but I feel that any column about St. Patrick’s Day without mentioning that point would be remiss. Anyway, this campaign has been particularly lack luster.

One poster reads:
“St. Patrick’s Day Resume Tips, Things your future employers are not looking for: open containers, public intoxication, minor in possession, drunk and disorderly, providing alcohol to a minor, operating a vehicle under the influence.”

Now, instead of the threat approach, why not realize that people are going to over indulge on St. Patrick’s Day and provide positive reinforcement in the name of safety and responsibility.

Instead the poster should read:
“St. Patrick’s Day Tips, if you choose to drink, be responsible: don’t have an open container in the street, don’t provide alcohol to anyone who is underage, don’t throw forties at cops, etc.” A positive message would be more beneficial to our community than saying you won’t be able to a get job if you imbibe on St. Patrick’s Day.

A third poster crafted by UD states:
“You think your building community, but you may be violating the university’s alcohol policy.”

I find this poster rather pointless. I realize we’ve all had different college experiences, but if I didn’t do something every time I thought I might be violating the university’s alcohol policy I wouldn’t have any of the close friends or memorable experiences that have defined my time here at UD like attending several football tailgates.

Now, I’m not saying you need alcohol to have fun, or even that every time I’ve ever had alcohol I had fun, but I am saying that some of my favorite moments here at UD have involved sipping back on grandpa’s old cough medicine. That’s why I found this poster rather useless and devoid of any meaningful message.

I don’t mean to gloss over what happened last St. Patrick’s Day. It was incredibly embarrassing and detrimental to UD, and I realize that UD needed to respond in several ways. However personally, I think this poster campaign was conducted in the wrong fashion.

If you care about community, send out positive messages to UD students like telling them to drink responsibly, watch out and take care of someone if look they’ve had too much to drink, and most importantly, for the love of God don’t throw forties in the street at 4 a.m.

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