February 6, 2008

Rock & "Fail" For ASU

I just got back from a little party that Valley Metro put on to promote the Light Rail progress, called the Rock & Rail Dance Party. We had a blast tasting the local fare, dancing the morning away, shaking hands, and rubbing elbows.

Not only were local restaurants and shops there (read: free food), but so were local elected officials including Michael Nowakowski, Michael Johnson, and, of course, Phil Gordon (read: free food and local media coverage).

There was fun had by all. Danielle nearly won a free iPod in a dance contest, and Candi won a gift certificate to Central Bar & Grille. What it made is so fun for me? I got to network my socks off! I got to meet Nick in real life, finally, and talk about his new projects and visions for the site. On a quick side note (speaking of "meeting in real life") - right after I left the event, Nole and I had our first phone conversation, elevating our relationship from "blog friends" to what he labeled, "voice friends". I am sort of scared to see what happens next...

Anyway, back to my "meeting people" extravaganza. I had a chance to see an old regular from back in my Green Giant days, Dylan. He owns and operates Portland's Restaurant with his wife, Michelle. Catrina from the Downtown Phoenix Public Market and I chatted it up for a little while, as well. I learned that they are expecting to be all settled into their new location by early summer, and they are just tickled pink to have all of us students downtown.

Which is weird. Because ASU's official presence at the event communicated anything but the reciprocation of that excitement. Consisting of two cheerleaders and a rip-off Sparky, this dream team of energy attempted to get the crowd chanting, "A-S-U". No introduction to the chant, no warm-up. Just hopped right up on stage and said, "Hey, everybody. Let's chant A-S-U! Ready? A! S! U!"

This isn't high school. This wasn't even a college crowd. A majority of the nearly one hundred (100) people (a total guess, by the way) were professionals on their lunch break or trying to get in on the freeloading. No guarantee that these people even went to college, let alone ASU. I'm not placing blame on either party (ASU or Valley Metro), but I feel that there was definitely a better way to reach the demographic at that event today.

For instance, why not have a representative from the School of Public Affairs talk about the graduate level Transportation Certificate that the school offers? Or how about officially announcing plans to offer free passes for the light rail to all students in the same way they do for the bus system? Just think what 55,000 riders would do for the sustainability of the program. Or maybe, someone could have spoken about the fact that the Downtown Phoenix Campus expects to have almost 15,000 new customers for all of those business owners on the rail line? Not to mention the thousands already hanging out downtown looking for places to spend money.

At least in my mind, all of those sound way more interesting, and potentially more successful than getting a crowd of politicians, business people, and UA students to chant for ASU. But hey, what do I know?

"The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves."
Hellen Keller

PS - What do you all think about the new layout?


Sun Devil Rockstar said...

Hey buddy! I happened to also win a prize... certificate to one free yoga class from Yoga at Heart. Don't know if or when I'll actually use it, but soon I hope. Also, I love the new colors!!

-Elenia : )

Liana said...

cute layout, hard for us old folks to read, though.
I woulda been curious if someone would have asked Mr Gordon about the abuse of the workers on the rail project what the response would have been...

brittany said...

very a-s-u

Anonymous said...

Typical ASU..."we're going to do something, and if you don't like it, we'll pretty much force it down your throat anyway...whether it's a building or a chant."...oops...did i say that out loud? Sorry. It's my Alma Mater and that even sounded awkward to me.

The layout is cool, but the grey is a bit hard to read, FYI.

Anonymous said...

Sam! The new layout is aesthetically pleasing, but pretty tough to read, especially after working at the computer screen all day. Nevertheless, I read it all happily! Keep it coming.

Your faithful readers in Taos, NM

Ron GP said...

Glad that we moved from "blog friends" to "friends in real life!" Can't wait to kick it again soon!!!

Eddie Jensen said...

I agree that the ASU turnout at the Rock & Rail party was poor. If I had to venture a guess as to the users of the LRT system when it's up and running, I'd say that a good portion of METRO's riders will be ASU students commuting between campuses. I agree that most of the people were there because of the free food and that's about it.

That's what I think. You bring up some very valid points.

RailLife said...

Hi Sam.. Very well said. Funny how none of these guys work together very well in planning "events."
It was great to meet you guys. I look forward to keeping in touch.

Bruno Hauptmann said...

My eyes and brain hurt after reading your words. Please do something about these awful colors. Maybe change them to red, white, and blue to honor our great nation?

Anonymous said...

I like the lay out. Cool that you don't write how great ASU is. I'm an alum and proud to be Sun Devil, but its not all perfect in Sun Devil country. You words can open the eyes of ASU administration and create positive change. Keep up the good work!