With football season wrapping up, basketball season underway, and mascots dancing/prancing on sidelines and college tuitions keep going up. It got me to proposing that we ditch mascot hoopla and ditch tuition increases.
I got nothing specific against mascots, it’s more about what they represent:
- Blind, hysterical affection for the school for no particular reason. Cut the tuition rate in half and I will become a mascot as the schools biggest fan hooting/hollering and doing cartwheels on the sideline.
- Overpriced stadiums, bloated sports programs. Beef up the library and create learing labs with experiential learning experiences train students for real jobs. I’d rather be an employed alumni praising the value of my almamata rather than be an unemployed graduate tailgating in the parking lot.
- Sports stats trump academic stats. Decide what’s important. Redirect sports programs to fitness programs. Redirect the college experience to focus on lifetime learners and lifetime exercisers. If you miss the culture of competition that accompanies mascot mania, why not create a scoring matrix that rewards advancement (lowered colesteral, lowered high blood pressure, lowered obesity, increased endurance, etc.)
- Replace the age old expression “that’s a good school” with no particular reason that “it’s a good school” with the new expression “that’s a great school, I would never be in my job if I hadn’t gone there”. Now that’s something to be proud of.
- Consider affordable no-frills colleges with no walls (including no sports stadium) and open sourse learning with certifications rather than infrastructure heavy, resort style college campuses. A side benefit might be the local gyms and sports leagues populated by students. Good for the town (economic development) and good for the students (social development where they get a taste of the real world). Maybe we should follow the european model where club leagues are the path to their version of professional sports and colleges retain an academic focus.
It will take time for this sea change to take place but I see it as the only long term path to vere away from the insanity of ever increasing tuition costs. Stop the madness, loose the culture of the mascots (sorry mascots, it’s nothing personal it’s just the super stucture that you represet).