Sunday, March 28, 2010

Did you just call me yellow?

Funny thing happened the other day at the paper.

We ran a piece (written by me) about how the Oakridge Apartment Community was offering discount rates to USU Ambassadors for no reason other than their membership in that organization.

For those of you not privy to USU organization, the Ambassadors is a group of students who get a full tuition scholarship for looking pretty. They also give the occasional campus tour -- and yes I do mean occasional.

For those of you not familiar with Logan's off-campus student housing. Oakridge is where you live if gaining an education is low on your list of expectations for attending college and gaining a Sexually Transmitted Disease is high.

In the article, we detailed the discount being offered. Detailed the school responsibilities and perks of the Ambassadors, and included quotes from both a current Oak Ridge resident and an Ambassador, speaking under terms of anonymity, that is taking advantage of the new deal.

As can be imagined, the Oak Ridge resident didn't see any justice in giving the AmBers a lower rate than the average student and the AmBer said that were it not for the discount she would never even considering living in the whorehouse that is Oakridge (I'm paraphrasing here).

Needless to say, the AmBer movers and shakers and the corporate owners of Oakridge were not pleased. Not one bit.

I was tipped off by my anonymous source that the AmBers had received an earful from their advisors and were warned to never again speak to The Statesman and last week my Editor-in-Chief got a call from "corporate."

Oakridge's manager claimed that I had entered into contact with her masquerading as a USU AmBer seeking housing. They also cried foul at my failure to mention the discount rates available to other students other than AmBers.

Lets work that one first. Oakridge gives a small handful of "scholarship" rates out to individually selected students on an extremely limited, mostly promotional marketing ploy-style, case-by-case basis. The only students guaranteed a discount are those cute-as-a-button AmBers.

For the latter. When I was interviewing Oakridge management the first thing I said was "Hi, this is Benjamin Wood, I'm a writer for the Utah Statesman." Later when I asked for the spelling of the managers name she asked me
"Is this going in the paper?"
"Is that Ok?" I asked in reply.
"I guess, we've just been in the paper a lot lately."
Yes, I can see where she was confused about who I was. I guess I'm just handsome enough to be an AmBer.

Never at any point did either of the injured organization claim the story was false.

So I sat down with Patrick and we called up corporate and what ensued was one of the funnies conversations I've ever been privy to witness take place.

I won't bore you with the details except for this little slice. At one point Patrick began relating the different rumors that he had heard about Oakridge and offered up this little nugget.

"I've heard that if you want to party, you go to Oakridge. If you want to hop into a pool with some horny co-eds, you go to Oakridge."

I could hear the squawking that this induced out of the receiver from the other side of the room.

But all's well that end's well. We suggested getting all parties in a sit-down for resolution (a near impossible task) or having The Statesman pursue an investigative report onto life at Oakridge (with the caveat that anything negative we found would be printed).

Corporate eventually ran out of steam and gave a pleasant farewell.

I guess I'm doing something right.

1 comment:

  1. Wow it's like you're a "real" reporter getting harangued for your work. Cool! (I know you'll roll your eyes at me for clarifying that I do think you're a real reporter. :) )