Protesters deserve our thanks

If the members of the University administration hadn't decided to rescind the graduation fee, silly string would have been the least of their worries at this year's commencement ceremony.

Thanks to the protesters and their success in getting the media to cover the graduation fee controversy, the University has bowed to the pressure and pledged to reimburse all those who have already written their checks.

The University thought that students who were already on their way out the door would take the graduation fee lying down. They were wrong.

Indeed, the plan backfired.

The graduation fee became one of the lead stories on the evening news. Parents and students alike were outraged. Students proclaimed that they'd never give another cent back to the University, no matter how many times the University hit them up for cash.

If the administration was banking on student apathy when it made the decision to charge students a fee, the students showed them that they wouldn't allow the University to take advantage of the fact they were halfway out the door.

The students banded together. They stood up for themselves. They said, 'This is unfair, and we won't stand for it.'

And the administration heard them.

While the administration posits that they made the decision based solely on the fact that the announcement was poorly timed, we think the real reason was because they became aware of how much ill will the fee was causing among seniors, and the student population in general.

They got scared, and for good reason.

After all, the University doesn't like bad press.

The administration made a good move by getting rid of the fee. By not allowing the issue to be dragged out and blemish this year's graduation festivities, the University was able to save face.

But that doesn't mean seniors won't hold a grudge. They realized that the University was trying to pull a fast one on them, and from now on, they're sure to be watching out for themselves and their pocketbooks.

While the administration might take credit for having rescinded the fee, it's not the administration we should thank.

That honor belongs to the protesters, the students that took action to get the media involved, and all students that said they wouldn't stand for the graduation fee last week.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email