Within the past month, I've woken up in my Chesapeake Hall dorm room to a flier from the off-campus housing complex, The Harrison. Knowing every off-campus housing complex probably has a few open spaces each year, they want to fill as many spaces as possible. However, with numerous advertising mediums across campus and online, it's easy to know where these off-campus housing complexes are located and which are best. In addition, The Harrison has sent out numerous emails through the JMU system to sign a housing contract for the following year. I've seen and gotten more emails from The Harrison than any other student housing complex that caters to the JMU community.
With that being said, The Harrison is another example of how advertising can be so pervasive.
The JMU community operates under the belief that being on campus is a safe place to be day or night. By this point, I know what you're thinking. People sneak into residence halls all the time to see their friends, it's no big deal, it's just a flier. That is true for all of these things, but what makes it different is people sneaking in residence halls and putting fliers under people's doors is that they're not supposed to be there. Knowing there could be someone on the other side of my door at night with the purpose of targeting me for advertising is unsettling and threatens security.
I want The Harrison to know if there is a way to advertise without being pervasive. You can advertise to students without putting fliers under doors that beg for money(because we know JMU already costs enough). Students will come to you when they are ready to sign a housing contract without being pressured. There are other ways that The Harrison can market to students without making them feel threatened or forced to live off campus. In addition, off-campus housing already puts fliers in students school mailboxes and puts up posters in common public places on campus.
This is where housing fliers belong, not under your door. Yes, we're now aware of The Harrison brand, but passing out fliers makes them look desperate for your money and not in a good way. I think we can all agree seeing an Instagram and is way cooler than having to throw away a pointless piece of paper.
For future reference, we can prevent this from happening a third time by interpreting the purpose of why other people are coming into your residence hall or whether they are holding off-campus housing fliers. Also, be cautious of your surroundings on campus, especially at night. If a flier appears under your door at night, make sure you tell someone on your hall or your RA.
Finally, always lock your door all the time and take your key with you because there could be a creeper just around the corner.
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