Tuesday, March 18, 2008

blood from angry stones

1. I've had an entertaining evening while working away on tomorrow's language homework. Early on in the evening, an email came in from our grad class president. I've put the best bits in bold:
Hey fellow graduate!
As you may already know, the graduating class of each year chooses a project to implement that will help UNB students. This year, we have chosen to create a Grad Class 2008 Bursary for students in need of financial assistance. In order to do this, we are looking to raise $10,000… most of this money will come from you guys the graduating class!
Hopefully you’ve already received our letter about the project. I’d just like to reiterate, that any money that you could donate would help a lot. If you donate like $15 or 20 or 40, or whatever, then your name will appear on a plaque that will be in the Student Union Building!
Perhaps you want to ask your parents for money! Then you can get your name on the Plaque! You can either fill out the card that we supplied in the letter and drop it into any campus mailbox, or you can meet us at the SUB Lobby from 11-2 Wednesday and Thursday this week to drop off the money.
Anyways, I hope you all have a great time at graduation… and good luck in the real world.
Now, I have nothing against grad projects or anything, but asking people who are coping with grad expenses on top of years of student loans for money isn't the greatest idea I've ever heard, and suggesting that we bug our parents is not exactly class either. Even better? The follow up email apologizing for sending everything CC'd instead of BCC'd (meaning we would get all replies to it), and blaming it on his staff. His staff?
The CC thing turned out to be more of a problem for him than me, though, because the first couple of emails kicked off a flood of angry responses.
  • "I think I've donated enough to UNB and I'm using all my extra "$15 or 20 or 40, or whatever" to pay off 4 years of student loans....even if this means not having my name on the plaque."
  • "I am not impressed that my home phone was called today looking for money for this project. My roommate, who does not even go to UNB was asked to donate money. I am shocked at the breach of confidentiality this project has shown. You can send your emails and send your letters, fine, go ahead. But if I get another phone call, "worse then a telemarketer" as my roommate described, you'll be seeing me at your office doors."
  • "At least you were called on a weekday. I was away from my phone a bit on *Sunday* only to came back to it to find a lengthy voicemail asking for money. So within less than a week I have received a letter, a phone call *and* an email. Im beginning to wonder if this counts as harrassment."
  • "Honestly, is this the most effective way to gather up cash from our grad class? I don't think so... everyone seems irritated that the university would be bold enough to ask students who have given thousands of dollars to give a few more out of the kindness of our hearts. WE ARE POOR, STOP CALLING US, WASTING MONEY ON MAILING US LETTERS WE DO NOT READ, AND LEAVING US MESSAGES ON ANSWERING MACHINES THAT SOUND LIKE THEY ARE FROM OUR BEST FRIEND ASKING FOR A FAVOUR. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH."
I don't even feel the need to throw my two cents (proverbially of course) in. That pretty much says it all. They have a whole office just for calling alumni and harassing them for donations to the old alma mater - can't they wait until we are reaping the benefits of our degrees before asking for our money?
It's pretty funny watching the angry emails roll in at midnight on a Tuesday, though. Overworked underfunded insomniac stresscookies unite!

2. Tomorrow - another batch of pictures. I've been finishing projects and Sean's been mastering new kinds of sushi, but right now I still have more Latin, so I'll update again tomorrow.


Blogger GailM. said...

Oh man, I agree with you. I think a grad project is great, but why not do something that doesn't cost the grads money... Like a work project - Build a house for habitat.. Habitat gets the funds but rely on donations of labour. It would definitely be a "feel good" project but might not help UNB with their ultimate goal of raising money.

11:46 AM  
Blogger dp said...

On the other hand, both you and Sean have been helped by the university "special funds" when you have been struggling. I know it wasn't a grad fund, but it could very well be another person as worthy as you, who might benefit from a grad fund "bail out" when times are tough. I don't agree with the Multi forms of contacting and the high pressure that you are under to pay up.... but I think its a worthy project.

9:16 AM  

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