Hiding the Truth (Putting on a Front)

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This is a photograph of a student lounge provided to RIT Freshmen. The lounge is supposed to be a place where everyone on the floor can come together, hang out, watch TV, play games, cook food (microwave), and wash things in the large sink. All colleges are guilty of over committing and under preforming. Or in other words, saying a lot of things and not meeting those expectations. When it is touring season, family weekend, or any special occasion when current tuition payers, or prospective tuition payers are coming to visit, RIT spares no cost in making sure it appears as friendly and helpful as possible.  They have the grounds keepers clean off the walk ways, spruce up the mulch, and care to the plants. They bring in catering, they have tour guides only bring the tours to the newer and nicer places. No tour ever brings the prospective students to RiverKnoll housing and say, “If you aren’t rich you will most likely live here to save money so you aren’t paying $7,000 or more in room and board.”

I took this picture of a lounge in RIT’s Dorms, if you look you can see that the couches are all chewed up, the fake leather is peeling off, the TV is too small to really see anything. If you could zoom in you could see that the painting was not done with care as there are not straight lines. Pan to the right (you can’t in the photo but I wish I could have included it) there are broken window shades sitting on the floor, the heater guards are bent and separated in two places. And on the back wall, there is a corkboard that has some dried on brown substance on one side that looks like someone threw BBQ sauce or something else on it a long time ago and no one ever cleaned it.

Now this would never be shown to incoming students until way after they have paid their $50,000 dollar tuition and started to move in. This is not News worthy though, why? Because no college is honest and upfront when they try to lure students in. If the News company came and did a story on RIT, that would be targeting. In order to avoid law suits, they would need to do multiple stories about the same thing. Therefore this is not a good “investment” for the news company. As this story will make their reputation drop immensely. No news station wants to be known as “against education”. Another reason this is not new worthy is because, any incoming freshmen is considered “insignificant”. It is not a Bill Gates, Donald Trump, or anyone that warrants viewers to pay attention. Because all news stations are money and profit driven, they will not cover a story that will not increase their reputation and/or increase their viewer base. This story would do neither, lots of viewers are not concerned about the bad living conditions for college freshmen, as it does not pertain to their lives. Therefore the news stations choose to ignore this sad truth because they do not see any personal gain out of airing such news. And Universities go to great lengths to build up false reputations and spend lots of money hiring news crews to come and cover the events that increase their image, so why would a news station burn that money making bridge?

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One thought on “Hiding the Truth (Putting on a Front)

  1. I certainly agree with the points you’ve made about how colleges present themselves vs. how they actually are. I think anyone who is on a tour group and thinks they aren’t touring the best available places is pretty naive. Nothing about this is newsworthy, I would argue maybe the only negative story that would be newsworthy is how overpopulated the dorms are and how many people get pushed to the RIT Inn and even the Radison.

    The lounges are terrible, and I’m not surprised with how they’ve been handled considering all the other issues with housing.

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