Thursday, August 16, 2007

Buddy, Can you Spare $250?

The other day I got a call from my alma mater. I could already guess that they were trying to get me to donate money to the university. It's the only logical conclusion. After all, they don't call me to see how I'm doing. And they certainly don't call me to give ME any money. Of course, I was right.

The person at the end of the line was polite and everything. She even started out by asking me if my mailing information was correct so that I received the alumni magazine. How thoughtful. I said that it was correct. Then I was asked if I wouldn't mind telling them where I worked, to help them compile a list of where graduates worked. I said that I did mind telling them. Where I work is my business, not theirs. She left it at that.

And now, for the real purpose of the call. It went something like this:

"Blah blah blah, we're currently restoring building X, blah blah blah. We're asking for a donation of $250."

Uh, did you just say asking for a donation of $250??? What do you think I am? A friggin' bank?


"We realize that $250 is a lot of money to give, so perhaps you'd like to donate another amount that you'd be comfortable with?"

I guess the first no didn't sink in.


"Okay, well, thanks for your time."

So tell me, honestly, why should I donate $250 for their little project? And exactly why is it that universities are ALWAYS asking for money? Where the hell does our tuition go? In my university's case, I'm pretty sure that most of our undergraduate tuition money goes toward funding the studies of the grad students. Great deal, eh? So we pay a freaking fortune in tuition fees ($6k was the amount I paid in my 4th year - yes, I know, the Americans probably want to smack me right about now), and most of it goes towards subsidizing grad studies? So the end result is that you're left with crappy, outdated facilities, and in order to get newer facilities and equipment, the university must hire poor starving students to call alumni so that these alumni can help finance these projects. Uh, no thanks. I've done my part. I paid my tuition, and I donated money (under extreme pressure from my classmates at the time) to the university the year I graduated. That's enough for me. No more money will go to them, ESPECIALLY if the money isn't going towards financing say, a green program at the university.

If they want their money so badly, they should go suck up to the rich old people who seem to take pleasure in donating huge amounts of money just to have a hallway named after them.

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