Another new internet meme, another new chance to embarrass and degrade Suffolk University. That is exactly what I feel happened in Suffolk’s latest social media campaign, the Suffolk Shake. I’m all for fun and games to take a break from the stresses of life in college, but is blasting it out through official social media channels the right place to do so?
Let’s rewind back to one of the first instances which soured my opinion of Suffolk’s social media presence: making a burrito look like Suffolk’s mascot, Rammy. The idea was likely spawned from Boston’s Twitter guru @BostonTweet, who frequents Boloco and routinely uploads a photo of a burrito with a face. The idea was fun for a few moments, but the campaign that followed was a bit extraneous – on Twitter alone, eight tweets went out within 24-hours, some of which included tags to local media outlets in a desperate attempt for attention.
Imagine if our sports teams received even half as much attention leading up to a game? It is no secret that game attendance is struggling, yet Suffolk’s social media pages mention sporting events only in passing every few days at best (and usually after the game has passed.) For an official page intended to reach out to the world abroad and showcase our university, I would expect more acknowledgment of the great events, games, and organizations we have to offer.
And then there was GangRAM Style – Suffolk University’s spin on the “Gangnam Style” meme that swept the Internet. It was another fun idea until it was repeatedly blasted to the public, leaving little attention to more deserving topics. I question what kind of crowd Suffolk University is going to attract with parodies of videos whose biggest viewer demographic is middle school and high school children – can we try looking a little more professional and successful as a college?
The absurdity doesn’t end, though, as Suffolk recently held the Suffolk Shake campaign to draw a large crowd for its own try at the Harlem Shake. This may be great fun with friends, but once again our university is trying to show the world we can’t be taken seriously. It’s time to put our big boy pants on and leave high school behind – we can have our fun, but there’s no need to go about it as obnoxiously as we can.
The Suffolk Shake campaign seems even more relentless than all of the others, and I beg Suffolk to simply make it stop. Let’s improve our image, not degrade it. The first pages the public and prospective students should come across shouldn’t be full of internet memes and foolishness.