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“Oh, you go to CU Boulder? You must smoke a lot of pot!”
You know you have an image problem when this is the first thing you hear out of someone’s mouth while visiting China.
I remember coming to CU as a freshman, having heard about the 4/20 celebration. I won’t lie, I was enthralled. I couldn’t wait until April rolled around so I could see what all the fuss was about.
A haze of marijuana smoke sits upon Norlin Quad as a 4/20 crowd lights up at 4:20 p.m. in 2011.This year, CU is planning to close off the quad to everyone, including students. (CU Independent File/Robert R. Denton)
I still remember walking over to Norlin Quad ready for the celebration to begin. However, as soon as I got out to the quad, all I could think was, “Why? What are we accomplishing here? All I see is people who are not even from Boulder, dropping their trash left and right and creating a massive traffic jam for the kids who still have to go to class.”
Things only got worse over the next two years. Everywhere I went those 4/20s all I heard was, “Do you know where the quad is man?” or “Hey man you holding?”
I looked around and watched as the beautiful campus I know and love was turned into nothing more than a Phish concert without the music, and again, all I could do was ask myself why we invite these high school kids, these hippies from God knows where, to trash our campus? Why do we make the daily routine for our students a living hell? What’s the point?
Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against marijuana or anyone who uses it. I personally do not smoke. I just have yet to see any ground breaking progress or benefit from the 4/20 rally every year that I’ve been here at CU.
So far, the only effect that I’ve seen from 4/20 is the image I take on as a Buffalo because of it. All that I’ve seen is a furthering of the stereotype the rest of the country holds for us as Buffs. Everywhere I go I’m a stoner, a hippie, or a pothead. All of this just because I go to CU, a fantastic higher-education institution that has so much more to offer than a giant pro-marijuana protest every spring.
In the past this has only been a minor concern for me. It was not until this summer in China at my internship that I realized, “Wow, this stereotype could really become a problem for me.” As a graduating senior, my image is basically all that I have. I have to sell myself to be successful in the future. All that this so-called celebration is doing is hurting that image. Devaluing my degree. If I can go all the way across the world and be labeled a stoner just because of my alma mater, who’s to say it won’t happen one or two states away?
Needless to say I was ecstatic to see the email in my inbox from the administration last week, informing everyone that Norlin Quad would not be hosting the annual 4/20 rally this year. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come. Maybe we as a student body can finally rid ourselves of our stoner stereotype.
Contact CU Independent Marketing Director Logan DeVane at Logan.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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