OP-EDS

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May 5, 2006

Over-Hyped

The recipient of thousands of dollars in SGFC funding, UChicago Hype describes its mission as creating opportunities “for students to experience the rich culture of Chicago that lies just outside of Hyde Park.” While this goal may be of importance, it’s starting to seem like Hype isn’t promoting the rich culture of Chicago but merely the culture of the rich.

While other RSOs are scraping together money to host speakers and send dedicated students to academic competitions, Hype is giving us yacht parties at which we can booze and schmooze. While that might be cool, it is hard to see why on earth they were ever given RSO funding. Their dozen-member board doesn’t offer anything students couldn’t achieve otherwise. Anyone can have a party, see the Museum of Contemporary Art, or visit a trendy coffee shop on the North Side. Outside of their generic offerings, all they really provide are large and exclusive events. But Housing and the University already offer such events. Is making them slightly more frequent worth the exorbitant cost? Life sure is sweet when you are buddy-buddy with SG.

Even if we concede Hype RSO status, most RSOs at least pretend to achieve their goal. Last time the Maroon checked, getting privately bussed to receptions catered by Wolfgang Puck and parties at top-notch nightclubs like Le Passage in the Gold Coast seems to have nothing to do with introducing students to Chicago’s rich culture.

If Hype wanted to stay true to its goal, it would encourage students to take the CTA, eat the food Chicago is known for (not lame copies of European cuisine), and experience the diversity of Chicago’s many neighborhoods. Through its exclusionary activities, Hype merely fortifies the social bubble of the University and allows students to maintain an elitist impression of themselves. Rather than sectioning off Chicago and transporting students to the quarantined zones, Hype might benefit from getting out every once in a while.