Loyal Scot program has good intent, poor execution
Carnegie Mellon launched its newest alumni initiative, the Loyal Scot program, a few weeks ago. And while The Tartan supports efforts to create a stronger community and alumni network, we are not completely sold on the new campaign.
The campaign is a reward system for alumni. Alumni who donate each year, volunteer at events, and keep their contact information up to date become Loyal Scots.
It’s great that the university is reaching out to students and alumni alike to make sure that they feel connected to campus. The website, www.cmu.edu/loyalscot, is well designed and easy to use. It provides the requirements for becoming a Loyal Scot, a simple four-step process, and helpful information concerning how to complete each of those requirements. It is a good source of information for alumni who are looking to reconnect. It also has a blog with videos from different Loyal Scots.
Despite this strong foundation, the program itself is cheesy. The slogan is “Plaid to the bone.” The website uses cutesy sayings like “Wear your plaid on your sleeve” and “Show your Tartan pride.” It notes that “Scotty,” our school mascot, is a charter member. Using these tools to get people involved makes it feel much more like a forced advertising campaign than a program that rewards the community for remaining engaged in campus after leaving.
It’s nice to see that people who are dedicated to anything and everything Carnegie Mellon will be recognized. We know that talented people have gone through Carnegie Mellon, and we want to make sure they feel connected and welcomed back to campus.
We certainly want more people who went to Carnegie Mellon to give back once they’ve left. This campaign appears to be a step in the right direction, but embracing these ideas would be enough without creating silly slogans and incentives.