18 March 2010

Values Cloud(ed)

So I just got the following email:

From: Stetson University Values Council
Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2010 4:24 PM
To: Michael xxxxxxxx
Subject: Add Your Voice to the Values Cloud

Let your voice be heard!
Be part of the Values Cloud!

The Stetson University Values Cloud is an interactive project that reflects your opinion about values important to the Stetson community.

At the Values Cloud web page, you’ll see words describing values that have meaning to the Stetson community.

Click on the words that are important to you. Choose as many as you wish. Then, click on the “Submit” button.

To see the results, click on “View the Cloud.” A cluster of words will appear. The words will change size, depending on how many clicks the words are receiving from computer-users. The larger the word, the more it means to the community.
Tag clouds will be telecast on large screens in various places on campus on Friday, March 19, as part of the Presidential Inauguration and Homecoming activities. Computers also will be set up for ongoing participation.

I followed the link... and was utterly disappointed. How do these words reflect Stetson's values? Where are things like 'profit', 'favoritism', 'racism', 'homophobia', and 'bowing down to the interests of the rich white men who run the school'? Oh, wait... 'homophobia' is there! But there's the word 'no' in front of it? Look! It's not just a values cloud! It's something much better! It's a bizarro values cloud! It adds words to the values Stetson holds and, thus, utterly negates... uh... something, I'm sure.

It's not that I dislike Stetson. I have many fond memories of the place. But isn't it a little bit strange to ask people what they think the school stands for and then completely refuse to allow any potential negatives? I mean, certainly, you've got to put on a good show for your alumni, but... really?

I've claimed before (and taken flak for it) that Stetson, at least in its undergraduate manifestation, does not have the students' best interests at heart. While the administration has to some extent changed since I've been there, and it's entirely possible that the situation has improved... getting this email doesn't make me all that optimistic. Yes, I'm cynical... but that doesn't mean that things aren't bad.


Eat the rich!

And all y'all have a great night.

1 comment:

Adrienne said...

Agreed on all fronts. It's a cheesy, totally transparent masturbatory move on the part of Stetson and anyone associated who happily participates. How embarrassing.

Next time I'd prefer if they'd just send me a dirty magazine and be done with it.