Know where your money’s going before you donate

If you’re graduating at the end of the semester and this is your last time picking up a copy of The Cord, congratulations. You’ve made it through four years of procrastination followed by caffeine-fuelled cram sessions, and you’re ready to collect the piece of paper that will make it all “worth it.” But if you think completing your undergrad means you’re free of obligations to Wilfrid Laurier University, think again.

The fun is just beginning.

You’ll likely leave with $28,000 in debt as a parting gift, but even before you pay off a cent of that they’ll be calling you on the phone, hounding you for more.

Donations have become a key part of the funding process for universities across Canada, and Laurier is no exception. Around 60 per cent of the Laurier’s revenue is raised through alumni donations, and though the university is touting this as a positive, students continue to wonder exactly where their money is going.

During their yearly alumnus donation drives, Laurier promotes images of smiling, gainfully employed graduates who credit the school for their success, but for many people, their experiences were quite different. Disillusionment with the realities of for-profit education and the comical amount of debt students have to manage after graduation, leaves a sour taste in mouths of many who refuse to give money to the school.

Even though they hold no particular love for the institution itself, they took advantage of the many clubs and groups offered, and crafted their own positive experience.

When students answer a phone call from a Laurier representative who mispronounces their name while asking for money, they’re aware of the oddity of the situation. The school is a corporation, systematically designed to maximize their profits by encouraging student debt. And yet, all of the positive memories, friendships built and experience gained through joining different clubs and associations all would not be possible without it.

As you grab your diploma, begin to walk off stage and immediately feel a vibration in your pocket, don’t immediately say yes or no to their requests for money. Instead, ask where the money is going, and do everything in your power to ensure that your money is going to support everything that made your undergrad enjoyable.

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