Understanding the Interwebs

A few months ago a caught wind of a video made by some guys at my alma mater entitled Price Hill Girlz. Take a look at it now if you haven't seen it yet. Pretty good work. I have no tolerance when it comes inappropriate  [read: racist] humor and this didn't even make the radar. I realized that the viral nature of the video was picking up as two people with absolutely no connection to Cincinnati Christian University emailed me the video this last week. Apparently it hit the media this week as both a local television station and radio station commented on the video. Media vultures: if there's even a hint that you can lambaste Christians for something that could be deemed "unspiritual," they're all over it.

It is my understanding that the emergence of this video left the school's administration scrambling as the inevitable "I'm offended" calls started to come in. I'm not quite sure how they've handled it. The video was originally pulled from YouTube earlier this week but someone else put it right back up. Hopefully the students who made it don't face any repercussion, especially since I did much worse than making a stupid video like that when I was in school.

If you take a look at some of the local buzz surrounding it [even from a liberal mag], many in the community seem to get it: it's a joke. It shows that CCU students are somewhat relevant and have a good sense of humor. In fact, this viral video has done as a good a job marketing the school than renting out billboards and bus ads.

Speaking as a former president of the university's alumni association, as well as a former employee who worked in the field of student recruiting, I'd take a different angle with these guys: I'd get them to make more videos. This kind of stuff resonates with seventeen and eighteen year-old kids. Plus, despite people who get ticked-off at anything and will voice their opposition, I think it gives the community a new perspective of the school, showing the creativity of its students.

The internet, and the way this emerging generation uses it, is forcing high school and college administrators to grapple with how they interact with the students. In many cases, faculty and staff are uncertain of what students are doing out on the world wide web and their natural response by officials is fear. But you can't keep kids away from the internet; it's now a part of their life and their education. Instead, they need to make concerted efforts to understand their online habits so, when something like a video going viral makes waves, they react responsibly.

All in all, not a big deal.