Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Them #@*% kids

When I was at Queen's University, the big issues in student activism were stamping out sexism and racism on campus, environmental damage, sexual violence, raising money for third world causes, censorship, suicide, drug abuse and binge drinking.

If only I had gone to Onondaga Community College, just across the lake in Syracuse, N.Y. Because if spitting, smoking, swearing, littering and double parking are the worst problems the students in this online PSA face, their lives are charmed indeed.

Okay, I'm being a smartass. As reported in USA Today, this "Create Change" campaign was developed by Onondaga's administration as a way to encourage students to take pride in their college and create an atmosphere of positive peer pressure against "habits that suck".

Creatively, the video is too long (5:15) and relies on a very hackneyed editing gimmick. But it was produced by the student drama club, so at least it's authentic peer-to-peer PSA messaging.

To me, it seems like an application of Broken Window Theory. Or it could just be an attempt to instill some old-fashioned manners in the young. Either way, I give it an "A" for good intentions, but I wouldn't bet money on the outcome.

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