Lee University’s Office of Admissions’ “Beware the Scarecrow” campaign was launched in response to an increased number of drivers parking in the Admissions parking spaces designated for guests. After nearly two months of being in effect, Gallup recently released numbers on its effectiveness.
It’s working. Sort of.
While incidences of students parking in Admissions’ spots remained constant, the campaign resulted in a huge decrease in the number of mockingbirds, blue jays, and goldfinches seen parking in Admissions. Though alarming, reactions among the students were mixed.
“Wait–so that’s what those creepy scarecrow posters meant?” said Jaime Tilsworth, a sophomore youth ministries major. “I sort of figured it was a prank.”
Phil Cook, Vice President for Enrollment at Lee University, said that the university was worried about the enrollment numbers for next year: “We’ve always received a substantial portion of our tuition dollars from birds in the local area. It was a bit of an oversight on our part to not anticipate the reactions of the local bird communities.”
One such bird affected by the change is Atticus Finch, a purple finch in the area. Mr. Finch stated, “My mom and dad named me after Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s shocking to me that 50 years after that book was published, we still have this sort of oppression in our midst. It’s just insensitive.”
In an effort to lure back birds who may have been disenfranchised, Admissions has worked with the Office of First-Year Programs to create bird-themed “Love Your Mama” shirts. They will be hosting a special Lee Day for birds called “Harper Lee Day,” where Admissions will be working with Sodexo to provide free bird feeders and complimentary worms.