Last week, the Watch tweeted a picture of a King’s recruitment button that read “King’s Covets Me,” and Kingsfolk, as they tend to do, got pretty analytical pretty quickly. Described as “leering,” “arrogant,” “kinda gross,” “lecherous” and altogether perplexing on Twitter, the buttons needed some explanation.
Brandon McNiece, an employee at the recruitment office, originally conceived the buttons and said that they are intended to serve a specific purpose in the recruitment context and process.
“As a recruitment team we go around the country visiting high schools and talking at sort of university of fair shows,” McNiece said.
“Students come around and talk to you; it’s sort of an energetic, fun environment. That’s the only place the buttons are going to be used. The intent is to give them out to students who we’ve formed a kind of good connection with.”
As KSU nominees seem to stress in every single political debate, King’s is largely defined by its tight-knit community. For the recruitment office, finding potential matches to the King’s community is a top priority.
“The message of the actual phrase of the button is just to try and make them [potential students] feel special, that we recognize that they’re the kind of person we value at King’s,” said McNiece.
“I think the button is in part an attempt to recognize when we distinguish somebody who’s a King’s person, but might not know it yet,” he said.
Part of the concern and uneasiness surrounding the buttons stems from the use of the word “covets,” which can seem slightly amorous or creepy. McNiece said that the use of the word was never intended to be subversive.
“Clearly this is not meant in a sexual way whatsoever. I don’t believe the word ‘covets’ necessitates any sexuality. It means to desire, to wish for,” said McNiece.
“It could have easily been King’s wants me, or King’s is interested in me, or something like that. I just thought the audible alliteration of ‘King’s Covets’ sounded cool.”
According to McNiece, the response from potential students has been “mildly positive.”