Class Challenge venture proves misguided

Brandi Doyal, Views Editor

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The following is an opinion article, and opinion articles do not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

Asking Tulane students, who already pay some of the highest tuition in the country, to donate even more of their hard-earned money to the university is both greedy and wrong.

That’s exactly what the university is doing with the Class Challenge, however. Money raised by the Class Challenge goes to the Tulane Fund, which helps fund various ventures such as scholarships and facilities. 

Evan Nicoll, the young alumni and student philanthropy officer in the university’s Office of Development, said the point of the Class Challenge isn’t to raise funds, but to increase student participation. Nicoll said the Class Challenge supports the three main goals of philanthropy, which are to strengthen class identity, develop student leaders and educate students about the Tulane Fund.

These goals are important and more than 100 students had the privilege of helping make the Class Challenge happen. Asking students who are weighed down with student loans to donate to the university, however, is in bad taste to say the least.

The estimated cost of attending Tulane is more than $60,000 a year, which is in a high range when compared with universities across the country. Students come to Tulane to study and advance their education. While fundraising is important, the Tulane Fund should focus on alumni networks for donations, not students.

Students’ donations will be minimal at best, and these fundraising efforts are better suited for reaching actual alumni of the university and other individuals who would be willing to make contributions. The “alumni giving rate” is determined by the number of alumni giving money back to a university out of the total of living alumni of a university. The AGR is taken into account by important ranking services like the U.S. News and World Report.

Asking current students to donate isn’t helping this rate and makes a poor impression on students who are currently struggling to afford their education. 

Brandi Doyal is a sophomore in the Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached for comment at [email protected]