I don’t have a problem with the University of South Carolina inviting guest speakers for the students to listen to. Also, I don’t have a problem with a famous speaker getting a handsome payment for their appearance as long as the taxpayers and the students aren’t forced to fund these worthless forums.
The big problem is the mandatory activities fee. Why should 29,334 U.S.C. students be charged $125 per semester on top of skyrocketing tuition for forums that very few are taking advantage of. That’s $1,466,700 a year!
My fix: Invite who you want and sell tickets and sell books. The students that wish to attend, let ‘em. Those that don’t should not be coerced into paying for these events. If 200 students want to reach for their wallet and pay $175 to hear Ben & Jerry, so what.
Here’s a list of recent speakers and fees (source: fitsnews.com):
Duff Goldman – “Ace of Cakes” star; September 2009 $27,000
Andrew WK – Singer/ songwriter; September 2009 $10,500
Dan Savage – Author, media pundit; September 2009 $9,500
Kevin Connolly – Actor; November 2009 $5,600
Herman Boone – Former Football Coach; November 2009 $5,500
Ben and Jerry- Ice Cream Entrepreneurs; Jan. 2010 (for both); $35,000
Renee Yohe – Author, recovering addict; February 2010 $3,500
Santino Rice – Fashion designer; March 2010 $7,800
Christian Lander and Elon White – Stand-up comedians; March 2010 $11,300
Nicholas Sparks – Novelist; March 2010 $12,500
Logan Smalley – Documentarian; September 2010 $4,500
Marc Elliot – Disease survivor; October 2010 $2,900
Eboo Patel – Founder, Interfaith Youth Core; October 2010 $9,500
Jenny Sanford – Former S.C. First Lady; October 2010 $15,000