REGINA – “My B.A. is not B.S.”

That’s the new message from the University of Regina, firing back at critics who say an arts degree is a waste of time.

“If you walk around the Hill Towers, walk around the legislature, you see a lot of our former students there,” said Jim Farney, a Faculty of Arts member. “We’d like to get that message out to the 18-19 year olds deciding what to do in the fall.”

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The ads are running on television and print media locally, as well as other Canadian markets, including Calgary.

According to the U of R, it isn’t a response to a SIAST campaign from a few years ago – though it’s along the same narrative.

Marketing consultant Jeph Maystruck, from Strategy Lab, says it’s a bold move.

“If you’re offending somebody in a major way, you’re making someone else very happy,” said Maystruck.

The U of R is happy with it, but some SIAST students bristled when the ad suggested, without an arts degree, you can’t make informed decisions on issues such as human rights or marriage equality.

“Being informed is more than what is on a piece of paper,” said one student.

“How is having a Bachelor of Arts going to give you a better outlook on (marriage equality)?” questioned another at SIAST.

No offense intended, Farney says, pointing out that an arts education teaches how to research and communicate those issues.

“It’s not to say the opinions are better, but the communication, framing, context, the way people put those ideas out there, that’s the value added.”

The bigger goal was to grab attention. Mission accomplished.

“This is the first messaging I’ve seen (from the U of R) that made me have an emotional response, whether that’s positive or negative, I had to have a response,” said Maystruck.

As the ad says, it’s time to think big.