From the end of August to the beginning of September, Boston University went from being the home of the 18th “Douchiest” college in the country to being the home of the nicest dorm in the country. GQ wrote the feature article highlighting the parts of Boston University that make it an arrogant institution, more specifically the communication school (http://men.style.com/gq/features/landing?id=content_10779). Being a communications student, I obviously find this offending and can think of many other aspects of BU that would be more fitting for such a title. According to GQ, Boston University students are most likely to “major in communications and take it seriously.” At least they included business students in the title as “The Future Marketing Executives of America Douche,” even though that is equally as offending to me because I am majoring in business administration in addition to communications.
I’m curious how they even go about finding the “Top 25 Douchiest Colleges.” Do they interview individual students? Do they survey to find students’ interests? Even so, why focus on communications students? Granted communications is a field that most people do not understand and therefore think is fruitless, but why focus on communications instead of business, engineering, or hospitality? For some of the other colleges that are ranked, they focus on other aspects of campus life. For Duke University, they focus on Duke’s obsession with being ranked #1 (which leads them to rank Duke #2). For Harvard University, they do not even give a reason for being on the list besides being a “Harvard douche.” Whatever the reason, this article definitely attracted attention, mostly negative.
However, the Boston Globe definitely helped turn around this bad publicity by highlighting the newest addition to our campus, the Student Village II or StuVi2 (http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/09/02/bu_dorm_offers_a_study_in_luxury/). Even though it costs more than other on-campus housing (and even off-campus housing), it is luxurious and beautiful. The first time I walked into the new high-rise building, I really felt like I died and went to heaven. The entrance looks like a beautiful hotel, and the suites and apartments are just as nice. The view is spectacular as it overlooks Nickerson Field, the Charles River, or other beautiful landscapes around Boston. The common rooms have windows from the floor to the ceiling that allow for these breathtaking views.
Not only does this article help promote Boston University’s accommodations, but it depicts steps that Boston University is taking to satisfy current and potential students. In the past, Boston University did not have the capacity to house all of the students who wanted housing and had to send some across the river to stay at the Hyatt for a semester. Now, BU is able to provide housing for 80% of its students (16,000 students) thanks to this new addition. I know that I would love the opportunity to live in this building, and I am sure when potential students see where they could live in the future, this housing could be an incentive to bring in students.
So clearly the media went from portraying Boston University in a negative light to a more positive light. One second they are discussing the arrogant attitude of students, and the next second they are describing the beautiful accommodations available to the students. Twitter and Facebook filled up with posts about both of these articles, but which one actually sticks in people’s minds? Usually it is the negative news. I’m sure people at other schools focus more on the fact that BU is ranked #18 on this list, but currently at BU, everyone is talking about StuVi2.