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Getting Your Money’s Worth

“Lambert’s articles are far superior to Nunn’s — he is the vanguard of this campus.” —Ryan Lambert ‘13

I’ve heard it said time and time again: Rollins is an expensive school to attend. I wouldn’t know — I have my team of butlers take care of all my expense reports — but it has a ring of plausibility to it. This week, I decided to do some sleuthing (actually, my team of butlers did the sleuthing, but same difference) and was flabbergasted to find the existence of hidden fees for services previously unbeknownst to me. I almost spilled my raspberry Shiraz upon hearing the report — an intolerable thought for a man wearing cashmere.

According to our school’s website, only $1,995 of the $2,330 allocated to a meal plan is available for actual use. The reason, they cite, is an “overhead fee associated with the College’s cost of providing the facilities and equipment for dining service operations.” Fine. I get that. The college has to pay for the extra costs of plates, trays, bowls, etc. At $335 dollars per person of the more than 75 percent of students living on campus the lump sum comes up to a yearly total of somewhere around $400,000. Then it hit me: why aren’t our plates as nice as ‘The Green?’ At that price, our campus center ought to be furnished with antique china and glimmering, handcrafted silverware. I should know — I bid on a set last week!

But here’s the part that really gets to me: I’d be better off living off-campus. I freely chose to leave my castle-parapets to live in a room comparable in size to my mini-fridge. I want to maximize the oft talked about ‘college experience’ and live amongst my ascot-clad peers. However, I could literally save $335 if I were to spend the exact same amount eating off campus as I normally do here every semester eating food which varies considerably on a day-to-day basis (note: Friday nights are putrid). To me, it’s not the price, but the principle.

With the sour taste of culinary legerdemain still lingering in my mouth, I unraveled yet another hidden fee from the binds of deception. Every semester, we are allocated “$120 for printing in the computer labs for the school year.” This fee, included in our tuition, grinds my gears for one single reason: I already bought a printer! I can understand being charged for a service I use (like a parking sticker), but this I cannot condone.

Plus, this means we are allocating a combined total of $216,000 (not including Holt students, also charged this fee) for printing every year! We should have printers that shoot laser beams! Or, at the very least, printers that are not out of toner for weeks on end.

In short, I am man of simple tastes: I like only the fi nest things, coupled with occasional around-the-world cruise. I also like things to be up-front and personal — which is why my team of butlers is writing this letter as I dictate from my pool raft.

Why, then, do I not feel good about these hidden fees? Perhaps it is because I feel like the requisitioned resources for ‘plates’ and ‘paper’ are being siphoned to other projects. What could these projects be? I have no idea. Think about it on your way to class, being careful to avoid sprinklers and debris strewn up by weed-whackers.

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