By Julia Hahn, Columnist
Over the years, some people have become concerned over the values that Americans are taking to heart. It has become a little disheartening that more people in New York know what Justin Bieber looks like but have no idea what their governor looks like. They could probably name all the members of the Jersey Shore cast but none of the Supreme Court Judges.
This kind of value system has been brought to light recently with Snooki from the Jersey Shore and Pulitzer Prize winning author Toni Morrison both visiting Rutgers University in New Jersey. One is getting paid a larger sum than the other, and it isn't whom it should be. Nicole Polizzi a.k.a. Snooki received a sum of $32,000 to appear at two question-and-answer sessions (centered around a book that she "wrote") that were led by the Rutgers University Programming Association. Toni Morrison, the esteemed Noble Prize winner, is going to be paid $30,000 to speak at Rutgers commencement ceremony in May.
Although the students have to wait until May to hear the brilliant words of Morrison, Snooki left them with some words of true wisdom: "Study hard, but party harder." What kind of world is academia coming to when a reality-TV star is valued more than an award-winning novelist? Toni Morrison's works have left intellectual footprints in the world of literature. I bet a majority of students will say that they studied one of her novels at some point in time.
Whether or not the books entertained is not the most important matter. The point is that a student can get something of true value when reading one of Morrison's books. I seriously doubt that Jersey Shore or the words from any of the people on that show could be of value to anyone, especially from someone who refers to herself as a "meatball." Snooki and her cast-mates have actually made appearances at other universities around the country and my question is why? Why do respectable colleges indulge these kinds of personalities that will be nothing but a bad influence on the youth of America?
Students at these universities feel that giving their tuition money to Jersey Shore cast members so they can appear at their school grossly wastes their money. These students are paying to learn and gain knowledge. There is nothing those people can teach these students that they can't learn at any college frat party. Some also feel that if they are going to pay someone money to speak they had better have something intelligent to say.
The show Jersey Shore is something that is around for pure entertainment and some people are trying to make it out to be something more than it is. America is starting to value reality TV stars over brilliant writers. What kind of world is that? It's the kind of place that other countries are laughing at. What words of value can any of the Jersey Shore cast members have to say to us? And how could any of that possibly be worth $32,000?