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VSU’s Office of Communications and Marketing will conduct a comprehensive branding study during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Opinion: College branding for customers, not students

I remember my freshman year at VSU. Taking food runs to palms, chatting in the student union and late night strolls on the illustrious front lawn.

I also remember going to some of my journalism courses inside of West Hall, walking past the rotunda on the second-level. It was quiet and one of the many reasons I chose VSU for college.

But all that has changed.

See, this was 2017. Now, we are in the early-bird special of 2020. There is a huge V-State sign that lingers at the rotunda on the second-level. If you look down from this spot, you will see television screens that will give you the full taste of what VSU is about.

Look up and there are banners of the many colleges on the campus. There is simply no need for this, especially for students. But for VSU, this is a business.

You cannot go anywhere on this campus without VSU’s branding. Even BlazeVIEW sports has everything VSU desires, which is basically to come to VSU and your dreams will be worthwhile.

Granted, VSU is not the only school that brands itself. I am not saying that this is a bad idea, but from the standpoint of a student, there are many things that need changing other than branding. VSU needs an overhaul of professors. Ask any student, nine times out of ten, their professor is not good at all. Furthermore, the professor probably knows that they are no good.

There is not a high-school senior on the planet that will consider going to a university with horrible personnel. But you will never see that.

Colleges do not advertise their professors. They advertise the scenery, athletics, Greek life and so much more. This is the bait. As a high school senior, you would want to see that. You would close your eyes and visualize yourself with those fraternity/sorority letters or going to a huge sporting event where you get to scream as loud as you can.

VSU plays into these very well. However, if college is supposed to be the place where you go to learn and become better than you were before, shouldn’t the professors who can help with that be the top brand? This is a questions that needs to be answered. VSU recently had a drop off in enrollment and the only way to get it back to normal was to invest in research and marketing studies.

Photo and story by Prince Robinson Jr., Managing Editor

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