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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Sex Sells and I'm Buying

SA is doing a serious disservice to its constituents by staging the Miss UB Contest at Fall Fest. It will serve only to discourage already tentative student morale and weaken whatever bonds have lately formed between its fragmented sub-groups.

After all, what good is an event that consciously ignores the interests of more than half the student population? Where are the men?

All college students (allowing for a slight tolerance) are unfailingly interested in members of the opposite sex: what they look like, how they behave, who they associate with, and, most prominently, what the odds are of landing a hot one. It then logically follows - and this is where Josh Korman, SA vice president and pageant organizer, tapped into a solid idea - that they would be interested in watching their attractive classmates parade around a semi-nude state. (Forget the eveningwear and talent competitions. We all know no one watches beauty pageants for the violins.)

It's a simple but potent marketing strategy that has withstood the tests of time and commerce, and should perform brilliantly next weekend. Sex sells, and when dealing with buyers of school spirit as wary as UB students it would be foolhardy not to splash some shade of sex across its Fests.

But this spectacle is marketed only to men, ignoring an eager component of the Fall Fest target market. Josh Korman, what are you doing? It appears that Korman hasn't been spending much time with his peers, because if he were it would be glaringly apparent to him that the twentysomething thirst for attractive members of the opposite sex isn't limited to men alone. The Student Union, a bastion of Greek activity, fills daily with tables of sorority girls clustered alongside frat guys, all observing one another with various degrees of discretion. The apartments, too, are full of equal party interest. Were Korman to cruise through on any sunny day he would find bikini-clad women, carefully positioned to observe neighborhood activity, visited frequently by their curious male neighbors. Lasciviousness is hardly limited to those bearing a Y chromosome.

The ultimate proof, though, lies not on campus but in the areas adjacent. Without fail, every weekend Main Street and Chippewa draw thousands of UB students together, and if you believe it's for the Labbatt Blue, you probably also think you've got to be 21 to get into P.J.'s. They gather to see one another, to hook up, to drink themselves into oblivion, to play darts ... countless activities all centered around the desire to explore one another in every imaginable way. They spend time, money and effort going out, proving that our infamous apathy is simply the result of a failed marketing mix, not oddly isolationist students.

The formula for successfully drawing UB students is simple: beer + beefcake = participation. SA is promising a beer tent and "cake" - now, all it needs to complete the equation is "beef," and they'll be in the money. Otherwise, it looks as though they may end up with a bunch of drunk guys dejectedly drooling over the same 10 unapproachable women while their female counterparts hit the bars early in search of more eligible bachelors.

So, all SA needs to do is axe the nonsensical talent competition stuff from the Miss UB Contest, replace it with an equivalent group of exhibitionist men vying to be crowned the hottest man on campus, and revel in finally being able to elicit widespread student support.

If SA refuses, those denied stage time will be more than welcome to display their qualifications in 132 Student Union. We don't cancel for rain.



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