Stop asking me for donations until I’m out of school, CSU

Kevin JensenToday is the day that tuition runs out at CSU. Okay not really, but April 24 is the day in the semester which symbolically represents when CSU would stop running if it operated only on revenue from tuition and fees. Again, not really — for CSU that day would actually be sometime in early March, but you get the point.

Tuition runs out day is here to bring awareness to the fact that tuition and student fees account for only about a quarter of what it takes to run this university. The rest is provided by private donors, grants and contracts, state support and other sources of revenue.

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I love this university. In order for Colorado State to be able to continue its land-grant mission of providing high quality and affordable education to Coloradans, the graduating seniors from this university must establish a tradition of giving back as CSU increasingly relies upon private funding for lack of public support.

That being said, CSU, please stop calling and emailing graduating seniors like myself asking for money while we’re still in school.

My last semester at this university has been hectic. While juggling two jobs, a full class load and completing my honors thesis, I was lucky enough to be able to squeeze a few hours out of my schedule to find an internship for the summer before attending law school in the fall.

During this busy semester, I have also received two phone calls and multiple emails from CSU with hat in hand, asking me for a minor donation of twenty or forty bucks.

Really, they’re not even asking for very much, but it almost feels as if the university is absolutely clueless to the current financial status of the majority of students graduating from their university.

I am not one of the lucky few who either have parents wealthy enough to pay for their college or with parents that are socioeconomically disadvantaged enough for me to receive any grants or need-based scholarships, so instead, like many students, I must mire myself in debt to pay for my education.

I don’t have any problem with this; I value my education and am willingly going even deeper in debt for even more education. It’s all worth it, I feel, because one day I’ll have a fulfilling career and will (hopefully) be able to pay off the couple hundred thousand dollars of debt I’ve accumulated through college and law school, and even maybe make enough to be able to give a sizeable donation to CSU to finally fix up our structurally suffering Eddy building.

The problem, CSU, with hitting me up for money right now is simple: I don’t have any.

Sure, I’ve got twenty bucks in my bank account I could give you. The only problem is that I’ve borrowed that $20 for school and I’m paying interest on it.

Why, when I have student debt up to my eyeballs that is gaining interest every day, would I give you twenty bucks as a donation, when, if anything, that $20 could be going to pay off my school loans?

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CSU, you’ve done a lot for me, but I’ve also paid you for it — a lot. And I’m not even done paying for it; my expenses from CSU are going to be accruing interest for years until I can get all of my student loan debt paid off.

When my university keeps hitting me up for money, it makes me feel like CSU is completely blind to the financial hardship most college students must endure in order to receive a scrap of paper that rumors say are becoming worth less each and every year. Yet nonetheless tuition continues to rise, and the student population sinks further and further into debt.

It’s important to establish a tradition of giving with graduating seniors, but CSU is going about it all wrong. Instead of blissfully reminiscing about this campus that has been the setting of my own bildungsroman adventure, being frequently contacted and asked for money will only make me remember this place as my money-grubbing alma mater.

Can you please at least wait to ask seniors for money until after we walk across that stage and actually become alumni? I know the university is hurting for cash, but the average Colorado student graduates with $22,283 in debt, so we really can’t even spare that twenty bucks — which we’re paying interest on, anyway.

Don’t contact us anymore for donations until we graduate, CSU. Then we’ll call you.

Content Managing Editor Kevin R. Jensen is a senior English major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. He can be reached at  kjensen@collegian.com or on Twitter @kevinrjensen