Guest Rant

This was emailed to me by our friend Carin for me to post. She makes some really good points about the way universities opperate. It’s a really good read. By the way, if you’ve got something to say that you think the world needs to hear, feel free to
send it to me.
Just make sure it somewhat resembles the English language or it either won’t get posted, or it will and we’ll make fun of you for a world wide audience to see. But we here at Vomit Comet World Headquarters are all about giving the people a voice, and since you are the people, we’re offering it to you. Against our better judgment in some cases, but what can I say, sometimes we’re just too nice. Anyway, take it away, Carin.

university? deals? What’s this?

The other day, I had to print some stupid paper from some stupid class. Yeah, so? Well, my printer was broken, so I had to use the public printers up at the university, and I saw something that summed up the whole philosophy that universities and colleges seem to have nowadays. Ok, now you think I’m crazy. How could a printer make me philosophize? I guess it’s a sign that my nose has been too deep in the books. Well, let me explain. I had to buy one of those print cards that lets you have the privilege of buying your own paper on which the printer happily prints your essay, note, piles of research, or printed material for whatever dreary purpose dragged you to the library anyway, all for the low low price of 10 cents a sheet. but the print card lets you print mass quantities with relative ease, sort of like the way you pay for cell phone minutes in advance.

Anyway, when you buy your new fangled print card, the price is $2 and you get 10 sheets, supposedly, for free! I know what they want us to think. “Well Yippee hoo! The university is giving something to me for free! That’s sooo coool!” But think about this for a second. I’m no expert in the cost of plastic, but there’s no way that thin piece of crap plastic is worth $2. No way in hell. Maybe it’s worth $1. You are paying outright for every single sheet you get. They’re just making sure you buy at least 10 sheets so they don’t get ripped off, god forbid, if you only use one sheet.

But then you say, “If you’re going to print out scads and scads of pages, wouldn’t you be happy to already have 10 on your card?” Well, if you’re printing that much, guess what? You’re going to have to give them more money anyway, and you already paid for it. They’re not saving you anything, except maybe the two seconds it would take to find that extra luny to pay for those 10 sheets.

Ok, now you think that maybe I should seek therapy for getting worked up over printer paper. But it’s more than that. This whole supposed deals thing is just their clever way of taking your money and swearing to you that they’re offering you a deal, so you won’t feel like they fucked you so badly in the ass.

It’s everywhere. They tell you it’s cheaper to pay up front for a meal plan, and then you find out that first off, it’s fucking expensive, so you wonder what it would have been like to pay meal by meal. Next you notice that they’ve given, er, ahem, made you pay for more meal points in this plan than you’ll ever spend, that you can’t use them in certain places at certain times, and if you don’t use them by April, well, tough. They get the money anyway, ha ha. On top of that, they’ve made two different meal plans, designed to suit your ass-fucking needs. There’s the on-campus one that I described, and then there’s the off-campus one. Oh yes, now that you don’t live on campus, thus eating there is not compulsory, you can use it wherever you like whenever you like, and you can top it up with oh so easy to pay payments of $200 during the semester, but if you let the semester end, you have to pay $575 to revive your now dead meal card. Ooo! Which plan of fucktitude will I choose? So many options!

And to add insult to injury, if at some point you realize that you have no chance of using all your remaining meal points, you can sell them, but only to those who are on the same plan as you. So if you’re on the on-campus plan, your only hope is to find an unbelievably gluttonous pig who empties out the cafeterias daily and just can’t keep the points in his account, because more than likely, everyone else is, well, probably in the same boat as you. And then there’s the ridiculous $50 that is incorporated into your meal plan solely to cover stolen and broken dishes! God damn it, does anyone actually believe that a university cafeteria is feeding us on their
finest china? Do they actually expect us to believe that from all the money they rake in from the student body, they’re just too damn poor to replace the odd smashed plate and missing glass? It almost makes me want to steal or break something so I can feel like I’m getting my money’s worth!

And then there are the compulsory fees that you pay with your tuition. Hey, I like the idea that I’m paying to have access to the athletic centre, counseling services in case I snap over these crazy fees, or the tons of other services on campus, if I *truly* had free access to them. Wanna know the truth? You only get a few free counselling sessions, and then they ration them out unless you’re willing to pay more. Way to help out someone who’s so stressed out they’ve come for counseling!

If you want to take a course at the athletic centre, you have to pay more! I just don’t get it.

Maybe I’d understand if I could take a long hard look at the bills everybody has to pay, but there has to be some huge profits being gained at our expense. There’s no way that thousands and thousands of students, plus how ever many alumni they manage to railroad into donating money each year, can’t adequately finance a university as it is, and the tuition rates and donation requests are almost always going up! Why do we keep having to pay more for shit we should have already paid for?

And then there are the little things. Like when the old man who only seems to show up when graduates are parading past him so he can shake their hands has a birthday, and the university goes all out and buys a huge cake. Ooo!
Free cake! Nope. Like I said on the day I saw them do that, “I paid for that cake.” It especially angers me when I see that, and then step outside and see that my friend in a wheelchair cannot get to class because they haven’t cleared the snow from the ramp leading to his lecture hall, or can’t open a door because the button has been broken for the past month, and nobody’s gotten around to fixing it. How about paying the snow clearing guys or the maintenance men instead of wasting our money on a god damn cake. Maybe they can make a bridge with it when it’s rock hard and he can wheel over it to get past the snow. Or it can serve as a door stop and keep the broken door permanently open. Until then, it has no use at all.

Yup, this all started out with a stupid print card. Maybe I think too much. Maybe I expect stuff to make sense. Logic? What’s that? All I know is I’m being fucked in the ass by my education, and all I can do is bend over and take it. I don’t know if I feel better now, but there, I’ve said it.
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right here!

If you have any feedback for Carin, her address is on her site, or you can send your thoughts to me and I’ll pass them on to her.

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