There has been a lot of talk recently on the practice of bringing unusual, D-list reality TV stars to campus.
If nobody knows who they are until they make an appearance on campus, what’s the point?
Most recently, Joe King, the star of reality show Farm Kings on GACtv’s (Great American Country) visited campus Monday.
First of all, who has even heard of GACtv or the Great American Country channel? It’s definitely not available to students on the cable packages in the dorms. And off-campus students surely don’t pay for fancy packages or extras either.
Discovery Channel star Cody Lundin from Dual Survival visited campus last week as well.
At least students know what the Discovery Channel is. But most people just remembered Lundin because he doesn’t wear shoes.
Both of these reality TV ‘stars’ visited campus as part of Earth Week to discuss survival, sustainability and entrepreneurship. All of these are things students are highly concerned about.
Survival skills in Slippery Rock are essential to make it through day-to-day life.
King discussed the use of “Community Supported Agriculture,” which asks local residents to pre-pay for their food, including farm produce, chicken, pork and beef. Participants not only have to pre-pay for their food, but also be aware of the risk involved with crop failure or bad weather. Meaning people might pay and not actually get any food.
College students definitely sound like the right target audience for that lecture. Does he grow ramen noodles and Doritos on his farm?
But the legacy of bringing quirky reality stars to campus goes beyond the Earth Week appearances.
In the past, the star of MTV’s ‘Catfish’ Nev Schulman and Maci Bookout from ‘Teen Mom’ have visited campus.
At least students can watch these shows while attending Slippery Rock, and they have some relevancy to students.
But what actually draws students to spend their precious time listening to what these ‘celebrities’ have to say?
Perhaps it’s because we’re in the small town of Slippery Rock and we think it’s the best we can get.
Or maybe it’s because we all think like hipsters and want to discover new people before they become popular so we can brag about it later on.
The reality of visiting reality stars is this: if nobody knows who they are, next to nobody is going to go see them.
While budgetary restraints can affect everyone, there is still an important economic fact we can all understand.
If a star is coming to campus for free, it’s likely that attendance will be better than if a student has to shell out some cash for tickets.
However, if a student wants to see a star, namely a popular one, they will be more than willing to pay.
So, one can conclude that by bringing more famous speakers, comedians, musicians and actors to campus, students will pay to see them and will balance their budgetary needs.
We can only hope that the future of speakers on campus leans away from reality D-listers and towards more famous people.
And if not, we can always hope Duck Dynasty is next.