‘Jack’ mystery baffles KSU students

Simon Husted

Courtesy of Aaron Kaufman

Credit: DKS Editors

Students walking through campus have one more chalked-up message to read – and it has nothing to do with going Greek.

In fact, hardly anyone knows what the message actually means. That’s the point, said Aaron Kaufman – one of the lead organizers of “Jack is Coming 11/9/09.”

“A lot of the appeal is in the mystery,” said Kaufman, a senior public relations major. “We want to keep people guessing.”

Kaufman added that the promotion is not a scam.

“This is not a hoax,” Kaufman said. “It’s not a science experiment of any kind. It’s not a sociological experiment of any kind. There is going to be some entity revealed, whether it be a person, place or thing.”

While the idea behind “Jack is Coming 11/9/09” was initially crafted by Kaufman, he said members of Kent State’s Public Relations Student Society of America are also involved in the project. PRSSA plans to launch more advertising this week, including fliers around campus buildings and chalked messages on walkways.

Kaufman said people who join the project’s Facebook group will have the first opportunity to learn Jack’s identity on Nov. 9.

Since the launch of its promotion campaign last Wednesday, the message “Jack is Coming 11/9/09” has stumped the minds of Kent State students.

“I don’t know (what it means),” Kevin Konieczny, freshman political science major, said after looking at one of the chalked promotion designs. “Maybe it’s for a play.”

Students this week had a wide array of guesses. Some said Jack could mean the famous serial killer in the late 1800s, Jack the Ripper. Others are hoping that the mystery guest is Jack Black. A few even said whatever is planned to happen that day will probably end up being something lousy and forgettable.

“Public relations is all about drumming things up that aren’t particularly interesting,” said Jason Clevenger, a senior public relations major himself.

Students also held different opinions on PRSSA’s mysterious promotion technique.

“It’s good marketing because people are going to want to know what Jack is,” sophomore psychology major Rachel Guidi said.

Others were a bit more cynical and said the promotion doesn’t do anything that makes them want to think about the actual event or project.

“It kind of scares me,” said Kati Bailey, freshman early education major. “That’s the most random thing to do. I wouldn’t think twice about it. Personally, I would walk right by the (message). I’d look at it, read it and walk by.”

The Daily Kent Stater and KentNewsNet.com will post Jack’s identity Monday or Tuesday as PRSSA officers reveal more information.

Contact news correspondent Simon Husted at [email protected].