UVM’s Administrative Greed

Upon arrival in the Grasse Mount building on Summit Street, I must enter a menially labeled door, the Phone-a-thon Entrance. As I do, I take a deep breath and accept the fact that I am a telemarketer; a Chatty Cat if you will. This is not your typical on-campus job. You don’t just get to sit at a desk and do your homework, occasionally stopping only to help a flustered student find a book or get a package. You have to be on the phone for four hours straight, talking to people who do not necessarily want to talk to you. I am not complaining though, I did apply for the job and it is my own fault that I am stuck getting headaches from staring at a computer screen and listening to phones ringing for hours on end. And it’s not all bad. I do getthe occasional kind and compassionate mom or dad who will chat with me for fifteen minutes about how much their son or daughter loves UVM. What I don’t understand about my job with Chatty Cats is the fact that we call alumni who graduated last spring and ask them to make donations. How is this reasonable or even ethical? These recent graduates are, for the most part, just barely beginning to pay off their thousands of dollars in student loans. How can we expect them to even consider giving a gift to the university? I can’t blame them for hanging up on me. We’re also calling current parents, some of which are paying their child’s full ride to college without any financial aid or loans. I cannot justify asking a parent who is barely making tuition payments for another thousand dollars so that President Fogel can decide to throw in another residential complex. Why must this university be incessantly pleading for money? Are we that desperate for expansion? We have been okay for the past 200 years, why can’t we just go on like the way it has always been? I get complaints every time I work about the loss of the UVM football team, the loss of the tennis program and parents’ children being forced to live in lounges due to overbooking. Or just the fact that many alumni only receive pledge cards and worthless magazines in the mail. If the school really wanted to show that it cares about its students and alumni, they wouldn’t be making these disappointing mistakes. Since the start of this season’s fundraising, the Chatty Cat student callers have raised just about $100,000. The goal set for the year is two million dollars. Fundraising money for your school is absolutely fine if the money is going towards beneficial causes. A portion of the funding is. However, much of the funds go toward building more dorms that squish more students into an already crowded central campus. Why not put it all towards student scholarships? Or why not hire more faculty in order to keep class size down? The unique quality many people once attributed to UVM is slowly disappearing in the cloud of dust from endless construction across campus. Someday, I hope that I will be calling parents and asking them to give money purely so that less fortunate people can afford this school and so that we can keep our student-teacher ratio from growing any larger than italready is.