Some colleges have a reputation for being party schools. Then there’s Doane College in Crete, Nebraska, which actively recruits with a postcard telling new students that life on its campus gives them a chance to "play the field."
That is it did until this week, when school administrators were forced to yank the postcard after protests from students and teachers. One image on the card seemed tame enough. It featured a student football player for the Doane Tigers appearing above a caption reading, "Finally, a place where he could work toward the career of his choice. And also play the field."
But it was the second image showing the same student talking with a group of good-looking women above the caption, "And play the field some more," that critics found hard to swallow. Oh my gosh, were the marketing tactics of a small Midwestern liberal arts college associated with the United Church of Christ actually promoting sexual hanky panky? In a statement, the college "expressed its regret" if anyone was offended by the postcard.
Of course, it didn’t help that a suspended Doane football player had been charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.
Using wit and humor to convince a target audience that college life exists in the cornfields isn’t such a bad idea. But some within the administration were concerned the postcard might possibly attract the wrong kind of student while repulsing the right kind. Read, the wrong kind of students have sex—while the right kind don’t.
If "playing the field" means exploring opportunities and relationships in life as the administrators intended, Doane College sounds like a swell place to be. But after this week, the only message being sent is the one telling prospective students to seek out greener pastures.
—Posted by Wendy Melillo