Doctor's Orders is a weekly satirical column in which two unprofessional, definitely fake doctors offer up prescriptions for their Phoenix patients.
Elon University got dragged through the mud by traditional media this past week when education news and analysis website The Hechinger Report revealed that, apparently, Elon isn’t economically diverse, and The Times News — our hometown newspaper — picked up the story. Burned on our own turf? Stabbed in the back? Et tu, Times-News?
Elon’s got a case of what professionals in the field call “Bad PR,” but never fear — it looks to us like a pretty mild case that’s easily treatable. We have had way worse scandals than this one in the past year alone. Like the hazing scandal, or the other hazing scandal, or the Brian Williams scandal, or that teacher who was hooking up with students, or that other hazing scandal. There are lots of ways to combat this particular blight, luckily enough.
First: Use distraction tactics.
Quick, grab the nearest award Elon has won and wave it around. Points if it’s shiny — like an actual trophy. Print out a certificate if that can’t be managed — like the ones you got back in kindergarten for participating — and get Leo to sign it.
Release another article pimping out those solar panels. See? We’re giving back, gosh darnit. We need all those tuition dollars from the economically-fortunate to finance our philanthropy efforts.
If worst comes to worst, we can just circulate the “Most Beautiful Campus” article again, and again, and again. That thing always manages to crop up in the most opportune moments. It’s the herpes of Clickbait articles. Or the herpes of Elon. Which is another column itself, though I’m sure there’s some sort of cream to treat that.
Second: Spin this scandal around like you’re the top cycler in a Soulcycle spin class (91 percent of students will get that reference because they can afford that $34-per-class rate. The other 9 percent need a Pell Grant to buy into the joke. Sorry).
So we’re not economically diverse across different classes. That doesn’t mean that we’re not economically diverse among the one percenters, right? Some students only have one yacht, not a whole armada. For every student with a lake house, a beach house and a mountain house, there’s a less fortunate student with only one of those things.
Some students have parents who give them $12 for lunch. Others have parents who donate $12 million for a brand new building. It’s a range. It’s unfair of The Times-News and The Hechinger Report to accuse Elon of being not economically diverse when it’s frankly the opposite.
Actually, it’s unfair for any media to accuse us of lacking economic diversity when there are plenty of other
ways we lack diversity. Race, ethnicity, culture, religion — even our fashion choices lack diversity. If you’re going to pick on us, do it right. We don’t abide by laziness.
There’s a chance Elon might want to address the problem head-on and provide a solution. In that case, we turn to solution three:
Just redistribute the tuition dollars among the 9 percent of students who receive Pell Grants. This way, Elon gets points for philanthropy, and that 9 percent will have their tuition covered, so they can’t complain anymore. Bam. No more bad press. No more controversy. We don’t know why Elon didn’t think of this obvious solution sooner.