If you have the privilege of taking classes at the University Square Mall movie theater, a quality cinematic arena that has yet to become a quality learning venue, you might have noticed two automobiles parked right outside the entrance everyone takes to go to class.
I don’t know what kind of cars they are. The thing that caught my eye was the sticker in the window that advertised “USF Student Special” with a price that might or might not have been special.
I guess I didn’t get the memo informing students that Judy Genshaft was turning the area outside her “classrooms” into Judy’s Used Car Lot. I have no doubt in my mind that for allowing the people who own the cars to do that, the school is getting some sort of kickback.
At first, I was a bit disconcerted. I mean, they make us take these classes in movie theaters — theaters that, I might add, don’t have stadium seating. Also absent are movie theater personnel to sell candy and popcorn to students as they walk in; that would be nice. Now they are trying to peddle cars to students as they walk to their classes.
And then it hit me, harder than most things or people have ever hit me. If USF is going to sink so low for a buck, then it might as well go all the way. What’s missing on campus? An easy way to get desperately needed cash. That’s right: corporate sponsorship.
Let’s start with the obvious: that big ole hulking building on the east side of campus called the Sun Dome. The naming rights for that place are just itching to be sold out to the highest bidder. How about the Metamucil Dome? Or, even better, and perhaps more professional sounding: The National Enquirer Forum.
But why stop there? The opportunities to make money are numerous; it’s hard to believe that someone like Genshaft hasn’t thought of these ideas already. Why not construct billboards in high traffic areas around school and then lease them? You could even sell them to student organizations; perhaps even the Board of Trustees will fork up the dough for a billboard. Ah, I can see it now: “Your USF BOT: The Bull Starts Here.”
If you have a class at the movie theaters, you will remember them handing out coupon books filled with savings to all the crappy stores in the mall. I was thinking, why not do that for classes on campus, too? After all, nothing says “classy” like handing out coupon books.
“Thanks for choosing USF for a quality secondary education. Here’s a $.50-off coupon good at Orange Julius.”Sometimes you have to get a little creative. If you could get professors to promote items in the middle of their lectures, the kind of money that would roll in would far outmatch any of the previous suggestions. Any subject is for sale.
“You know what got President Kennedy through the terribly stressful days of the Cuban Missile Crisis? That’s right, rich, chocolatey Ovaltine.”
Perhaps a new mission statement is in order: “USF: We will leave no building unbannered, no yellow bookstore bag unpamphleted and no walk through MLK Plaza unsolicited.
“Oh yeah, and along the way we’ll do our damnedest to teach you a thing or two. But no promises.”
Joe Roma is a senior majoring in political firstname.lastname@example.org