Wait, There’s a March Against Rising Tuition Today?
Oh, you didn’t know about this? Neither did I. What’s the difference? We both think that tuition needs to be kept under control. We don’t want to have to drop out of school because we can no longer afford it. This is important, right?
Well, covering student government is my job. I’ve been hearing the words “rising tuition” like a broken record. So when the fact that the aptly-named March Against Rising Tuition snuck up on me at tonight’s Onward State staff meeting, I couldn’t help but think, “How could they have done such an awful job promoting this purportedly crucial event that I, who’ve been trained to cover this topic for months, didn’t know about it?”
I did know that the event existed. I got a Facebook invitation way back, put it in the back of my mind, and was suddenly, joltingly, reminded, oh yeah, that’s tomorrow. And who invited me? Not Christian Ragland, not Travis Salters, not anyone in that department or behind the event. No, it was my friend Matt Kapelewski from Atlas THON, who just got off his feet today for the first time in 46 hours. He’s not even remotely related to the governmental arena. Is he going to the march? Nope. Studying for an exam. While many students have commitments they can’t miss, those who are interested should be given the option of going.
But I didn’t get a heads-up from anyone involved—surprising that the organizers wouldn’t want to check with the guy who writes their beat, who can get them publicity for an event important to them. This idea is essentially a soufflé that got put in the oven, but the oven blew a gasket or something and broke.
I recognized some other names on the guest list, but how many of them have forgotten just like me? For something that is this important (and it is), where is the buzz? And let’s be real here: how many people are actually going to skip class for something there’s no hype about? Biden and Obama visits are one thing, but the event doesn’t even say where they’re going after Shields. We literally told our photographer to try to catch them after his class in Osmond on their way by because “they’re probably going to Old Main.”
So here’s how the guest list breaks down:
950 Maybe Attending
3,000 Awaiting Reply
2,002 Not Attending
Let’s see how the numbers play out. A great concept, just a poorly marketed one. This one wasn’t going to balloon on its own; people at Penn State really need firing up about this. THON just raised an I-still-can’t-believe-it $9.5 million. That’s just proof that if something is done right, the people of Penn State can mobilize to do incredible things.