Students should have say in who advertises

Advertising is a very polarizing thing. While many consider it a scourge, taking away time from American Idol or space in your People magazine, it is the lifeblood that allows those things to exist.

So what about advertising on the Rock? You’ve certainly seen it over the last few weeks. From Victoria’s Secret to BMW, the Toyota Yaris to Vault soda, all kinds of companies have been lining up to “rent the Rock.”

Certainly it’s not the image that comes to mind when one thinks of the University of Miami. Swaying palm trees and warm bay breezes aren’t complimented by a giant trailer peddling lingerie.

But, at $500 or more a pop, it’s almost too tempting of an offer to resist. Hey, that buys 1/70th of a new tree on campus! But seriously, for one day’s inconvenience, it is significant money coming into the university.

Plus, some of the events are useful. While we may not be purchasing our next car on the Rock, women swarmed when the PINK college tour came to town, and no one complained when receiving a free Vault to drink – at least until the caffeine headache kicked in.

The problem isn’t in the advertising in itself. Again, it comes down to an issue of administration making decisions without student input. Advertising should continue on the Rock, but a student panel should be formed to determine whether these companies are appropriate companies, and to ensure that they will advertise in a manner keeping with students’ wishes (like not being repeatedly asked if we’ve entered the iPod raffle – I’m looking at you, Toyota).

Students enjoy the benefits provided by these companies. But there needs to be some kind of control to the madness that protects students’ wishes while bringing in revenue to the university.

This represents the majority view of the editorial board.

CORRECTION: Former Vice President of Student Affairs William Butler created a student advisory board to give input on what advertising is permitted on the Rock, University Center director Daniel Westbrook said.

While this group has not been active recently, in the past students has decided to prohibit credit card advertising and allow the use of palm cards, for example.