I must admit, I am not very familiar with Nicole”Snooki” Polizzi. But on occasion, I have picked up my wife’s copy of “People Magazine” and I have seen an article or two about this reality TV star. I suppose she is entertaining enough in her own way. But I hope she is not the caliber of person we wish our daughters and grand daughters to aspire to become.
Being a Tea Party activist, I spend much more time reading the hundreds of emails I get daily and wading through article after article on topics related to the current conditions in our communities, the legislative activity in our states and the course being set by our representatives in Washington DC. There is plenty of dialog regarding the fiscal crisis our federal budget is in and much is being written about the financial challenges our state governments face. From FOX News to the Huffington Post, there is opinion after opinion regarding who will be hurt if this bill is passed or that policy is put in place. A frequent part of this discussion is education and the expense related to educating our children from kindergarten thru high school and then on to one of our institutions of higher learning.
Recently, I watched Representatives in the Congress debate cuts to the Pell Grant program on C-SPAN. Several legislators were angered at a proposed cut of $850/yr in funds available to students thru that program. In my own state of Alabama, representatives of both Auburn University and the University of Alabama have been outspoken regarding cuts to their budgets and the need to raise tuition costs to their students or cut services because of funding cuts made necessary due to revenue shortages and a decrease in General Fund appropriations from the state.
Teachers and other public employees have recently demonstrated in Wisconsin and other states to protest reductions in benefits and increases made to their contributory costs to participate in health care benefits and retirement programs. I have read several articles in our local papers detailing costs paid by teachers and parents for supplies because school system budgets do not contain sufficient supplies to run classes properly. “We need more money!” is the request of educators, city and county officials, state governors and our officials in Washington DC. At the same time, there are those that demand we cut spend and stop the borrowing to pay for government spending.
So what does all of this have to do with a reality TV personality named “Snooki”?
Recently, Rutgers, New Jersey’s largest university, paid Nicole Polizzi $32,000 to “dish” on her hairstyle, and on her GTL (gym, tanning and laundry) lifestyle. The speakers fee was paid from a “Mandatory” student activity fee collected from students at the university. While some students considered the expenditure to be a bargain, others would have preferred to spend their money on books or educational materials.
And what did the Rutgers students and faculty get for their $32,000? Snooki’s advice………”Study hard, but party harder!” Now that is a message that had not occurred to the student body at such a prestigious institution I’m sure. My point?
At a time when America is feeling the financial pressures in all aspects of our life. When individuals and private institutions are compelled to cut expenses, lay off workers and to make personal and family sacrifices to adjust to the economic hard times. Public officials and administrators just don’t seem to understand they must make the same sacrifices and exercise the same kind of discipline. We can no longer afford wasteful, unnecessary expenditures. Not in our private lives, and not in our public institutions.
“WAKE UP AMERICA”