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Posted at 2:38 PM ET, 10/27/2010

Ivy League students 'out' kids who don't donate to senior fund

By Valerie Strauss

Student volunteers at Dartmouth College and Cornell University, using lists given to them by school administrators, are “outing” students who have not donated to a senior class gift fund.

According to this article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, the schools are hoping that peer pressure will squeeze money from reluctant donors, even if the tactic seems obnoxious.

It turns out that at Dartmouth, one out of 1,123 students in the Class of 2010 did not contribute this year, and wasn’t happy when her sin was exposed in the college newspaper and on a popular blog.

At Cornell, seniors volunteering to raise money were told which classmates had not contributed to the senior class gift fund, and were told to send emails and call them.

The schools say the fund-raising drives are intended to help create a culture of giving in young people.

But strong-arming them into giving by trying to embarrass doesn’t seem guaranteed to do that now, does it?

Implicit in these money-raising operations is the notion that every student has something to give to help purchase a senior class gift. That assumption is obnoxious all by itself.

The tactic is similar to one used by many schools to raise money for their annual funds; they provide parent volunteers with the annual fund-raising history of specific families and send them off to get more.

Peer pressure is useful when used the right way. This isn’t the right way.

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By Valerie Strauss  | October 27, 2010; 2:38 PM ET
Categories:  Higher Education  | Tags:  cornell university, dartmouth college, fund raising, ivy league, senior class, senior gifts  
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Is it really a donation when I'm forced through embarrassment and harassment to give money? It's like the neighborhood gang asking for money to provide your store with security. A shakedown is a shakedown.

Posted by: lucl74 | October 27, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Dartmouth guys used to be known near and far as "animals." It comes with the isolation. Accepting women a few decades ago hasn't done much to soften the well-earned image, people say.

Posted by: axolotl | October 27, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Gee... this tactic kind of reminds me of "shake down" tactics used to shame public school educators in Los Angeles and now potentially in NYC... you know listing teachers names and their students' test scores. Is this an unfortunate trend??? Dartmouth may get its "class gift" with this shakedown and the Bloomberg/Klein and Gate's folk get the destruction of public school education. Where else is this tactic being used??? Hmmmm....

Posted by: teachermd | October 27, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Gee Whiz ...

Michelle Rhee went to Cornell University, and she is about to leave DCPS. I am sure she would be a very persuasive fundraiser for the 'Big Red'.

Just think about the foundation money she could wrestle into the school coffers too.

As an Cornell alumnus, I would look forward to her call as she has been very illusive to many DCPS parents who had differing opinions about her often arbitrary and random road to reform our schools.

I am sure that if she began singing our alma-mater, people would stop her immediately to donate vast amounts of money rather than hear their song desecrated ...

(Cornell University's alma-mater)

Far above Cayuga's waters,
With its waves of blue,
Stands our noble Alma Mater,
Glorious to view.

Lift the chorus, speed it onward,
Loud her praises tell;
Hail to thee, our Alma Mater!
Hail, all hail, Cornell!

Far above the busy humming
Of the bustling town,
Reared against the arch of heaven,
Looks she proudly down.

Lift the chorus, speed it onward,
Loud her praises tell;
Hail to thee, our Alma Mater!
Hail, all hail, Cornell!

Posted by: AGAAIA | October 28, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

How sad that many students at Dartmouth do not know their school's own motto - Vox clamantis in deserto. AKA, "A voice crying in the wilderness". Biblically it referred to the clarion call of people like John the Baptist, who spoke up for his beliefs when it was politically and socially unpopular. Now me, I went to a hippie college, not an Ivy League school, but it seems to me that perhaps the person who really embodies the Dartmouth spirit in the class of 2010 is Laura DeLorenzo.

So. I had to do it... I created a Facebook group to support DeLorenzo. That way, I hope, something positive will appear on the web to balance out the rather scurious comments made by some other alumni on that blog.

Posted by: martianroom | October 28, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

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