By By John Woodward
As a senior, I can say that I have had a great educational experience at Hofstra. I have a lot of respect for the school's faculty and administration, and their work in increasing the school's academic standards and national ranking. However, I'm offended by the premise of their "Senior Class Challenge," in which each senior is asked to donate $20.11 to the senior class' funds.
I don't question the quality of the education that I have gotten, but my classmates and I often find ourselves questioning the price tag. From $250 textbooks to $8-12 Lackmann meals to a $345 University Fee – whatever that means – I find myself increasingly beleaguered and scrambling to keep up with the compounding cost of my education. I am aware of the situation the University is placed in by the recession, but I would ask that they extend the same consideration toward their soon-to-be graduates.
For a university that spends so much time preaching multiculturalism, diversity, and social responsibility, it should know that its attendees come from different economic backgrounds. They study professions which will garner different levels of monetary compensation. Perhaps the kids who come in as freshman with sports cars can afford to throw the University a couple hundred from their parents' wallets in passing. I can't.
When I am financially solvent, I will undoubtedly donate money to the institution from which I have benefited so much, but don't hit me up for cash before I've even found a job or started paying back my loans. It sets the precedent that I should be able to use vague justifications like "make a difference" and "help create unity and pride" to ask a customer for their wallet after they have already paid for my services. It also makes the University look more like a beggar scrounging for change than a respected institution of learning.
Maybe I find myself whining about this because I took the path of economic martyrdom in pursing a liberal arts degree, but the horrendous job market we seniors face was caused in part by some of the graduates of our prestigious business school. (Here's a hint: you might try hitting them up for cash, seeing as how they crashed the economy and kept the profits.)
I don't mean to slander Hofstra. It's a great place to get an education. We, as a country, haven't learned much about morality or economics from the recession. Hofstra has a bit to learn about economic sensitivity in light of the world it is preparing us for.