Ever wonder where the stereotypes of Duke-Durham tensions (which I find, personally, to be highly overrated and inaccurate) come from?
You'll be dis-pleased to know, prospective admits and their parents can get their share of misinformation and falsehoods even before they arrive on campus, thanks to theU. TheU is a startup that encourages high-schoolers to "hook up" with the right college, and whose website features a matchmaker tool to allow you to select the right U for you on criteria ranging from Greek Life (none vs. animal house) to Guys (dogs vs. studs) to Drug Scene (straight edge vs. Bobby Brown). Yes, you can now choose a college based on how high the students are, not just how highly it's ranked.
Nauseated yet? Wait, there's more -- you haven't even seen their Duke video, which purports to tell you "the setting" of Duke U:
For those who aren't down with the YouTube or who don't have time to watch the above vid, here are a few of the groaners it contains:
- Notes the setting of Duke University as "Suburban" (huh?)
- ...followed by the claim that the campus is beautiful, "but as for the town, not so much."
- A single voiceover from one student telling us, "...it's kind of a poor area of North Carolina, it gets perceived as very dangerous," overlaid on top of a couple of downtown empty storefronts and pictures of a Duke University Security car and the Durham PD headquarters. (Mind you, with only a single brief shot of Ninth Street, with no recognizable businesses.)
- "But don't worry, Duke's actual grounds are the poster-child for gorgeous American campuses," we're reassured. The video then spends almost a minute talking about the Duke Forest and Duke Gardens, instead of the town itself. (Along with an odd sidenote about the Duke Forest being perfect for 'smoking the ganja.')
- The kicker? The final slide, which claims that the closest major city is "Charlotte, NC (150+ miles away)."
My thoughts? Someone over at theU was smoking some ganja when they put this together. Of course, looking the vids from my alma mater and some other schools, it's clear that their view of American higher education is superficial at best, pandering at worst. Then again, when the best you can do for an Executive Producer is to hire the annoying kid from the failed WB series Everwood, you're not hitting it out of the park on the rep meter.