Corporate Graffiti

Today, you probably noticed the bright green chalk-graffiti all over Usdan and the Rabb steps. “,” it announces. Here are pictures:



Wiggio is a private, for-profit company, who produce a social networking website dedicated to the formation of groups. I think we should all be a little curious about why a company is painting its website all over our campus (hideously and obtrusively, I might add). Is Wiggio paying students to graffiti its logo? Are they paying Brandeis to let them use the campus as a billboard? Or are they just sneaking here in the night themselves with chalk and stencils (and, if so, why didn’t the Brandeis maintanence staff instantly remove these eyesores?)

I emailed Wiggio with these questions, but have received no response as of yet. Tomorrow, assuming the ads are still there, I’m going to press the administration for answers. I sure do hope the University isn’t selling advertising space on the Rabb steps, but who knows what desperate measures a financially-strapped college will resort to? Whatever the story, I think it’s despicable of Wiggio to market itself in this way. Social networks generally catch on through word of mouth (or through social networks), not by forcing themselves upon us on our way to class.

By the way, please don’t visit Wiggio to see what it’s like. It’s not very interesting, and you’d be rewarding predatory marketing tactics. I realize that I am playing into these tactics through writing about the site (making even more people think “I wonder what all this hubbub about is,” playing right into their hands). Which is why I have deliberately avoided linking to the site, and appended this warning to PLEASE NEVER GO THERE.

Cell Phones? In Usdan?!?!

Here’s Andy Hogan, the Union’s Director of Community Advocacy, discussing the new cell phone amplifier in lower Usdan.  Andy was the driving force behind the project and secured funding for it from the Office of Facilities Services.:

As of Monday morning, you can now use your cell phones in lower Usdan.  The amplifier that was installed takes reception from outside and projects it into the building.  If your phone has bad reception normally, than this is not too much of an improvement for you (sorry T-mobile users).  However, if your phone gets normal reception outside, you will now be able to use it while eating in lower.  As for the range of the amplifier, the stairs between upper and lower still has poor reception but I have been able to get service from Home Zone to the C-store.  If you want to look for it, its installed on one of the walls of the skylight in the middle of lower.

As I was dormstorming during my campaign for North Quad Senator, one of the main issues people had was cell phone reception on campus.  Many people’s phones did not even work in their dorm but mainly people complained about lower Usdan.  At first, I looked for improving reception on the whole campus.  When this proved too expensive and difficult to coordinate with the companies I looked specifically for lower Usdan.  I found this amplifier and spoke to facilities about installing it.    There have been many complaints about this project as a waste of funds in a time of cutting down, as a luxury.  This is a useful project because even though we are cutting back it is important to always improve our campus.  We should not just shut down in a time of crisis, we should fight for improvement and even luxuries.  When I went around to my constituents, they gave me a way to improve the campus and as a student government representative I wanted to fulfill their suggestion.