EDITORIAL: Resources are the best advertisement to creatives


Jocelyn Moreno

Marketing Columbia: college rethinks recruitment strategies

By Editorial Board

In fall 2008, 12,464 students attended Columbia College Chicago. In fall 2018, the comparable number is approximately 6,859, a 45 percent decrease in a decade.

The administration has made the stakes clear in the downward trend reported on the Front Page. Student employment has been slashed, campus resources cut and favorites among faculty have lost jobs, as reported throughout the 2017-2018 year by The Chronicle. In December, the college will launch another advertising campaign to bandage its enrollment problem.

As Columbia students, we know better than any outsider what needs to happen. We have dealt with the consequences of declining enrollment and have felt ignored by those who claim to prioritize our experience.

We want the administration to see us for who we are, as artists and activists, not dollar signs. We don’t want a more selective admissions process. We want to be among the talented, driven, creative students that more traditional colleges overlook.

Showcase the best parts of Columbia, because we are so much more than advertising campaigns portray. Comedy students can spend a semester studying at one of the world’s most influential comedy theaters, the Second City. Fashion students can spend a week in New York or four in Italy. The Museum of Contemporary Photography at 600 S. Michigan Ave. is the only dedicated photography museum in the Midwest. The college houses a nationally-distributed literary journal, The Columbia Poetry Review; a full-color print magazine, Echo; and the No. 1 non-daily college newspaper in Illinois, The Chronicle.

Administrators must stop viewing resources as fat to be trimmed. Every college has a biology program, but very few can offer the chance to be featured on a radio station like WCRX. Our classmates are transferring in droves because we’re losing the resources, faculty and opportunities that drew them here in the first place.

Columbia has produced Emmy winners and “Saturday Night Live” cast members, and that is what potential students should see—in Chicago and nationwide. Students aren’t here because they want elite academics and theoretical course work.

We came here to learn how to screen print, produce our own albums or to be in charge of advertising campaigns. We came here not because of high SAT requirements or selective admissions, but because of passion—not only for the crafts that sit at the core of our identities, but for our city, our nation and our world.

President Kim,  VP of Enrollment Management Michael Joseph and every current and future administrator who might be reading this, your students have only one request: help us author the culture of our time.

If you can do everything in your power to help us accomplish what we came to Columbia to do, if you commit to learning who your students actually are and if you prove that to potential students, your alumni will be the only advertisement you need.