Video remix undermines student reputation at WLU

A recent phenomenon has emerged from the United States where university students have made YouTube remixes of Wiz Khalifa’s song “Black and Yellow” as a means of promoting their school and denouncing others. This was replicated at Laurier and has had, on the surface, success in its distribution with over 34,000 views.

The creators claim that they sought to “represent all aspects of student life” with a video that shows Laurier students chanting, wearing Laurier swag and drinking excessively. We do not doubt the positive intentions of the creators or the school spirit that they displayed by taking the time and effort to make the video. However, positive intentions alone do not make for a good or effective representation of our university to those outside our school.

Last week, our editorial board commented on the declining academic performance of our first-year students. This is a serious problem that affects Laurier’s credibility as an institution of higher learning.

Internally, the last thing we need is to continue to promote a culture of drinking and partying that has no doubt been a contributor to the suppression of grades and an inability of students to make the most of their academic experience beyond the classroom.

Externally, the party school stereotype is not the image we want to promote to students thinking of coming to Laurier. It will attract those that aren’t serious about academic advancement and repel those that are looking to strive intellectually in the next important chapter of their lives. It also denigrates the reputation of the degrees we receive in the eyes of prospective employers.

So instead of promoting Laurier as a school that is better than the others because we drink more than they do, how about we promote our Music and Business programs, which are two of the best in the country? Or instead of highlighting the fact that Phil’s is across the street, market Waterloo as the intellectual capital of Canada that it truly is. We need to take our reputation more seriously.

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