Southern Utah University: Other schools only teach the establishment clause. by Chino Blanco · Published June 7, 2010 · Updated January 15, 2011 We teach the controversy.
Whatever it takes. 🙂
An artificial controversy. I don’t live in Utah, but my undergrad degree is from SUU and I know from very personal experience that SUU is a state run, secular university. The reality is that about 60% of Utah is Mormon and assuring a majority of the population that they can have a good experience studying there is, in fact, good marketing. Frankly, they’ll get a better education and a hell of a lot more exposure to the real world at SUU than at BYU. If the university were teaching classes on proselyting or were advocating for any one faith tradition we’d have a problem. But it doesn’t.
I think everyone agrees that SUU is a state run, secular university.
And I’d agree that ad copy like this is pitch perfect for the target market (Mormon parents):
“I made friends who encouraged me to go [on a mission].”
And I’m sure SUU is a fine school. Nobody’s accusing it of being one of the newfangled Mormon Madrasahs planned for Nauvoo and Nevada.
The controversy is limited to the question of whether or not public funds ought to be paying for such an ad.
Regardless of the question of whether the ad is an appropriate use of public funds…
this gives me the heebee jeebees.
I’m surprised they don’t try this advertising tract with any other public universities (UCLA, Univ. of Neb., Ohio State, et.c)….
Perhaps it wouldn’t go over as well.
Wow! I read about this in my news reader, but no one reposted the ad. That’s just creepy!
That ad is so wrong in so many ways. Sigh. I mean what the heck does that guy have on? A white shirt and a tie with a cleverly altered t-shirt? He looks like a college student, but a mormon missionary will slither out when you’re least expecting it? Help. Me. Now.
It’s pretty creepy, and completely inappropriate for a state university to cater to religion like that. Are they also going to run ads about how awesome and secular they are for the students who don’t want to go to BYU? Stress that a testimony of Joseph’s Myth isn’t a requirement for admission? No? I wonder why…
I’m actually the individual in the ad. 🙂
At the time, I had just returned from serving a mission for the LDS church in Argentina. My white, privileged, naive self went to a focus group hosted by the Director of Marketing for SUU at the time, and all of those quotes came from me. While I truly felt that way at the time, I understand now how polarizing this is as well as the conflict of interest utilizing state-allocated funds for marketing purposes for a specific religion. As humorous as this ad seems to me now, I do know being on the college admissions side as my profession, that this was problematic for a state institution to be catering this way.
Anyway, SUU is/was a great school and I’m grateful for that experience there!