Okay, okay, you can laugh - we did, too. The "Harvard of the Ozarks" jokes are really the low-hanging fruit, but that didn't stop us (even though our alma mater, Boston College, isn't even the Harvard of Boston - thanks, actual Harvard). And the fact that the new school will be known as ASUQ - presumably pronounced "A-SUCK," well, we just can't make up stuff that amusing on our own.
But while it's fun to imagine the Querétaro government getting duped into thinking ASU-Jonesboro is one of America's finest institutions of higher learning, this article about the ASUCK groundbreaking in the ASU Herald leads us to believe the Red Wolves may be the ones who got their pockets picked in this deal. Specifically:
The campus will cater to local and foreign students, and feature classes taught in English by Arkansas State University-approved faculty members. Querétaro’s cosmopolitan location and thriving outlying community makes it ideal for a multi-national university.
“The campus will actually be located just outside of Querétaro, and has smaller towns on the other side of it so once it is built, the cities will basically grow towards it. Eventually the university will be smack dab in the middle of an amazing and exciting city,” [ASU student Stephanie] Overby said. “There is so much growth and opportunity there that it is the absolute perfect location for our new campus.”
Okay, listen up, amigos: the ASUQ campus is being built on 2000 acres of land outside the city of Colón, a good 40-50km from Querétaro - an area also known as "way the fuck out there on the other side of the airport."
Class, please open up your geography books to page 53.
That big white splotch on the lower left is Querétaro - not just the cute little Centro, but the entire million-person sprawl, from El Pueblito to Santa Rosa Jáuregui. That little dot in the upper right? That's Colón. We've never been there. We're sure it's nice. But it's only "an amazing and exciting city" if your point of reference is Jonesboro, Arkansas.
But not to worry! The plan, as was explained to the visiting delegation from ASU, is that sometime shortly after the campus opens in 2015, Querétaro - already one of Mexico's fastest-growing cities - will increase in size approximately tenfold, sprawling across 50 kilometers of mountainous semidesert, and "eventually" surround the ASUCK campus with its exciting amazingness. Needless to say, we expect the local:foreign student body ratio to be about 99:1 by 2016.
Still, anytime Americans and Mexicans can get together and learn about each other's countries, that a good thing, in keeping with this blog's stated mission. Hopefully, the cultural exchange will go both ways, and perhaps a few years from now, no Mexican paper will ever run an article about ASU...
...illustrated with a photo of Little Rock Central High School. And hopefully the first foreign students to enter ASUQ will get a better reception than a certain group of outsiders got at Central High back in 1957.