From Sara Carden, senior public relations student
The Texas Tech PoliTech club should release the full video footage used to make their notorious “Politically-Challenged: Texas Tech Edition” video. This video does not properly represent the student population of Texas Tech, nor does it accurately characterize the people in the video. It has been cut and edited to make Tech students as disengaged from current events as possible. Although PoliTech was trying to make a point about college students’ lack of current interest in politics, they did so in an unethical and immoral way. The video has been viewed over 200,000 times on YouTube and shared and featured on numerous news sites and broadcasts. It casts an unfair light on Texas Tech, the quality of its students, and the worth of the school’s degree.
The video shows a student saying, “Ummmm…” when asked the question, “Who won the Civil War?”. The student, who wished to be anonymous, said that while he did hesitate to answer, he also told them he was trying to decide if he wanted to say the North or the Union. Instead of showing his full response, PoliTech chose to show the footage that best got got their point across, instead of the actual full exchange in which the student accurately answered their question, even over thinking it because he was on camera. While the video might have been made in good humor, instead of showing the political ignorance of today’s youth, it hurts the academic standing of Texas Tech and acts as a deterrent to potential students and prospective donors at a time when Tech is trying to reach tier one status.
PoliTech states that its goal is to “[focus] on providing important political information that is both clear and unbiased to the students of Texas Tech and the community of Lubbock”. This video is a direct violation of this standard as it is clearly biased by editing the information to show only the content it wanted to be featured. PoliTech also claims that it wants to make students look up from the world of social media and pop culture; however, the “Politcally Challenged” video was clearly influenced by the popular late night television host Jimmy Kimmel’s segment “Pedestrian Questions” in which people outside of his studio in Los Angeles are asked easy questions about a particular topic. PoliTech itself is influenced by pop culture and yet condemns Tech students for the very same thing.
As a self-proclaimed unbiased political organization, PoliTech does a great job of not showing all of the facts and only featuring their own side of the political awareness of Tech. PoliTech should release the rest of the footage from their student interviews. This will not completely repair the damage it has done to Tech’s academic reputation, but it would restore the community’s confidence in Texas Tech students and bring accountability and transparency to an organization with little support on Tech campus.