July 13, 2010

What We're Reading: Can College Presidents Be Cool?

The Washington Post featured an article yesterday on the recent phenomenon of college presidents trying to become closer with students. "In an effort to be more cool, presidents across the United States are starring in YouTube videos, serving hot dogs, starting blogs, hosting parties and eating with the masses in dorms," the article states. The piece mentions several presidents who reach out to students through social media or school functions, including Wesleyan's president Michael Roth who performs at open-mic nights and GW's Steven Knapp who participates in snowball fights.

"E-mail, text messaging and social media give students unprecedented access to a chief executive, who can no longer hide behind a secretary and an office door," the article states. Some college presidents, like Wesleyan's Roth or University of California's Mark Yudof frequently make use of Twitter, something Cappy does not do, despite the recent impersonation attempts.

So where does Cappy fit in to all of this? It's true that she often eats at the Retreat and attends sporting events, gives out cider on Halloween and serves midnight breakfast with the other administrators. But to students really feel close to her? Is she trying to be cool?

1 comment:

WC3 said...

Yeah, I see this all the time. A college president in this state was fired a few years ago cause a picture emerged of him holding the tap while a girl did a keg stand.

- Chris (CollegeCounterCulture.com)