How should we be selling Guilford to prospies?

An interesting coincidence happened at the start of last week. Not only was it accepted students weekend at Guilford, but copies of The Guilfordian flew off the news stands. In fact, by Saturday morning all the stands in Founders Hall were empty. The following Monday, an interesting discovery was made. Behind the student information desk in Founders Hall, there were two stacks of Guilfordian’s, which appeared to have never been distributed. I have been told by reliable sources that these stacks of papers are not common on Monday mornings.
Call me a bit suspicious, but this whole coincidence seemed shady to me. On the same weekend the school is having one of its biggest recruitment drives, a Guilfordian article on the front page is talking about drug use on campus, and it’s also the April Fool’s issue of the paper.
Then Monday comes and this discovery of unread papers comes to light. Now, I want to stress that I have no idea what might have happened to the papers; it’s possible they might have just been mistakenly placed papers. Mistakes happen.
But that’s not my point for this article though, my point is to ask how should a college, specifically Guilford, make itself more attractive to prospective students? If we work on the assumption that all colleges have problems, is it more advantageous for a school to be upfront about its problems, or practice a college version of window dressing?
Perhaps the first thing that is important to do is to understand whom you are appealing to. For example, if you are a bible college, you are appealing to people who want maybe a more toned- down campus environment. At Guilford, however, it would seem to make sense that the values of change, dissent and acceptance would be reinforced.
If we look at it from a more adversarial standpoint in trying to get students to commit to Guilford, perhaps Sun-tzu and The Art of War had it right: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
For me though, it would not seem to make much sense to try to cover up the fact that a good percentage of the students on this campus drink and do drugs, legal or illegal. That fact is most arelikely never going to change, even if rules are made more strict. Making marijuana a Level 120 offense is just not going to get the job done.
In my own humble opinion, I think that it would be best to follow a more Buddhist way of dealing with prospective students. Buddha teaches the need to live in reality and that we have an obligation to be truthful towards others so they can also live in reality. By being honest (and this is not to suggest anybody has not been honest) about all of things that make Guilford great (there are a lot), and what its faults are will perhaps not be totally successful from a numbers standpoint.
However, when people are brought in on trust and not on a bait and switch, a good bond is forged and the success of both the student and the institution is fulfilled for hopefully a very long time.