Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIII, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Oblivious students misunderstand printing policy

It’s endemic: Money, for too many Whitties, is just an abstraction.

Magically, material comforts exist at the tips of their fingers. Including, until this semester, unlimited printing.

For many of my friends, money doesn’t demand self-awareness, practical considerations or making sacrifices.

For this reason alone, I commend Whitman’s decision to charge for printing. It bluntly makes students aware that their consumption has a material toll in the world.

This is no hippie standpoint. Neither am I thinking green when I insist on turning all lights off before I leave my house.

Not thinking green in the environmental sense, anyway. I’m thinking about money, and I’m thinking like someone who pays her own bills.

But obviously Whitman’s aim is practical, not philosophical.

When Harvard lost about 30 percent of its endowment, it was top news on the New York Times Web site.

Keeping in mind that Harvard’s endowment is vastly larger –– billions compared to millions –– consider that Whitman too lost about 30 percent of its endowment.

Yet Whitties still seem blithely unaware of what that actually means.

The culture of privilege here insulates them, then their sense of entitlement inspires blind criticism.

The car industry almost imploded because it didn’t do what Whitman now is doing for us, rethinking its practices to remain fiscally sound. Even the budgets of billionaire colleges are being slashed.

“Quota,” as the new system is labeled by last week’s news article and this week’s board editorial, is a sneaky misnomer; you can print a million one-sided pages if you’d like –– you simply can’t put them on Whitman’s tab anymore.

Because of their flimsy understanding of money, students forget that Whitman can only provide fantastic resources and continue to attract students if fiscally sound.

Colleges compete with one another based chiefly on the vastness of resources they can offer. It’s no surprise then that Whitman wouldn’t debut the new printing measures under an alarming and unattractive trying-not-to-go-broke banner. WCTS introduced the program as a “multi-faceted campus conservation effort.”

Few Whitties experience material hardship, so for them “conservation” has immediate environmental connotations rather than monetary ones.

Whitman isn’t being deceptive. Students are being presumptuous readers. And from this mistake, they’re up in arms.

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