Michael Hylton’s story last week (“Stop the presses: University opposes students printing shirts”) should have read “Stop the Presses: University Administrators Threaten Entrepreneurial Students with Government Violence.” Much needed subtext was left out of the story.
It seems the administration was more concerned with Randall Cowell and Justin Gauthier for “stealing” some of Ferris’s T-shirt market share with their design rather than having a conversation over the decency or professionalism it takes to wear a “F*** S*** Up” T-shirt. The community should reflect on the decency it takes to raise tuition during the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression.
The students forced no one to buy the shirts and didn’t use any of Ferris’ four trademarked items, but that doesn’t stop Marc Sheehan and President Eisler from threatening the use of Government force in order to protect Ferris’ market share.
In a recent Businessweek article “Startup Fever: College Students Have It Bad,” Max Raskin explains how students turn to the market to offset the rising costs of college and tuition. According to the article, “[Students are] entering industries that previously required large investments, thanks to websites that offer help with manufacturing, inventory management, and accounting, says Dane Stangler, a project manager with the Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City Mo. nonprofit organization that promotes entrepreneurship.” Ferris should expect to see more of this if tuition keeps rising; even bootleg Ferris shirts with real trademark logos.
I understand the administration may spend a lot of energy trying to project a certain image of Ferris, but how many resources are they willing to expend in order to prove ownership of some colors and letters? How many thousands of dollars will be spent harassing two students when that money could help the library, a College, or even start a scholarship for Graphic Arts majors?