Anywhere’ should go beyond state


The managing director at Famous Door Theater in Chicago. The vice president of marketing for NBC Enterprises. The president and CEO of South Dakota’s First Premier Bank. A two-time Super Bowl champion. What do these people have in common? They are all graduates of South Dakota State. You can GO ANYWHERE from here.

That’s what you would hear from a typical SDSU commercial. The “You can go anywhere from here” commercials are used as a marketing tool to draw future students, and their parents, to SDSU.

The ads feature SDSU alumni who have gone on to have outstanding and successful careers. SDSU has now started a similar ad campaign, in which they use current students who have their eyes set on bright futures.

These ads show future students the amazing things that can happen with a degree from SDSU. The “You can go anywhere from here” slogan is truly optimistic and brings a wide range of career opportunities and lifestyles to the imagination. It is a great ploy to get high school seniors to check the “Yes, I am going to attend” box on their SDSU acceptance letter.

However, what many students discover is that that the slogan changes once you get in the classroom. It becomes “You can go anywhere from here – but stay in South Dakota.”

In some departments, many professors and advisors urge graduating students to look at careers in South Dakota. They advise students to give back to the state for all the things that it has given to them. Although discreet, the push for stdents to stay in state is strong. It is a message that has been implanted in student’s brains since the day they got here.

One of the greatest advocates for keeping college graduates in South Dakota is Gov. Mike Rounds, who happens to be a part of SDSU’s “You can go anywhere from here” alumni campaign. He was the key instigator of creating six new doctoral programs, four of which will be instated at SDSU. Rounds believes these programs will help “keep our best and brightest right here in South Dakota.”

Rounds is not the only SDSU alumnus who is pushing for students to stay in South Dakota. Many alumni continually remind students of the career opportunities they can receive in South Dakota by showing examples of those who have found decent jobs.

The administration, faculty and alumni do mean well. They know college graduates are the future of South Dakota. If the best and the brightest do leave the state, the state could suffer.

But options in South Dakota are limited. Some students are actually forced to leave the state. This state maybe may be the place for some- animal science and nursing majors, perhaps-but psychology and apparel merchandising students often have to go outside of the state because their options are limited. Careers in those fields are hard to come by in agriculture state of 750,000 people.

Many students need and want to get out of the state. They need to see what lies beyond the borders, before they can decided if this is the place for them. Nobody should tell students not to explore their options.

If SDSU is going to use and stand by the slogan “You Can go Anywhere From Here,” then faculty, the administration and alumni need to realize that “anywhere” constitutes the world outside of South Dakota. And students need to go where they can find jobs.

If you’re going to encourage us to go anywhere, don’t tie us down to one state.