Finally Mills has hired a marketing team to revamp Mills’
convoluted image. The long awaited makeover is being executed by
Art & Science Group with the help of student, staff, and
faculty input. As the student voice we thought it necessary that we
weigh in on this topic since over the years we have covered every
area of contention on this campus. As Mills looks to stabilize the
future of the college by attracting more students, we want the
administration to take these improvements into account.
It’s no secret that Mills has a problem attracting and retaining
students. This may have to do with the fact that many students are
sold one thing by admissions officers and find something entirely
different when they come here. First off, we advocate that Mills be
completely honest with the representation of the college.
Prospective students will not only be able to make an educated
decision about Mills but also understand the uniqueness that
constitutes the Mills community.
The first arena in which Mills needs to come clean with is
centered on the issue of diversity. Most students will tell you
that Mills is not the utopia of diversity it touts all over its
Sure, Mills is diverse. For a small school it does pretty well,
but we all know that it could do better. Incessantly bombarding
prospective students with images of people of color is tokenism and
gives a false representation that Mills is an oasis of diversity.
Lastly Mills needs to be careful on which aspects of diversity they
choose to highlight. Diversity in sexual orientation, physical
disabilities, and age seems to be a non-existent issue at
Second, marketing Mills should predominantly display the fact
that Mills is not an exclusively female centered space. Yes, most
prospective students are made aware of the male presence in the
grad program but it’s not clear that male students will share
classroom space and living space with undergrads. And Mills needs
to be honest that the male student is a major cornerstone in
securing the economic stability of the school.
But most importantly we advise the marketing team to showcase
the things that make Mills truly unique and, despite Mills’ flaws,
keep us here. For instance, prospective students need to know that
we appreciate our small classes, which allow us to have one on one
interaction with our professors. Prospective students need to know
of the wonderful professors who are dedicated to helping students
realize their true potentials.
Furthermore prospective students need to know of the wonderful
majors that set Mills apart from other schools such as Book Arts,
Art History, the music program and many others. Prospective
students also need to know that once at Mills, they will learn a
sense of community if they look for it and make an effort to get
involved. The sense of individualism prominent among other campuses
does not exist at Mills.
Clearly we believe that Mills has a lot to offer. While there
are flaws-as with anything else in life-Mills should be upfront
about them. The most cited reason that students leave Mills is
often based on the fact that they felt they weren’t told that whole
truth about Mills before they got here. They weren’t told that
sometimes the campus can be very isolating. Or that class choices
and diversity in majors has dwindled. No one wants to feel
deceived. So we urge the Art & Science Group to be truthful
about the special place that Mills is for the many women that
decide to stay.