Saturday, March 26, 2011


DRINK: Venti Carmel Frappuccino
DATE: 3/26/2011
INSPIRATION: Rutgers University
Being that I live in S.New Jersey our big state school is RU or Rutgers University. Everyone wants to wear red and black and be a Scarlet Knight. Whether your at the Camden, New Brunswick, or Newark Campuses it's a true brother/sisterhood that binds a large percent of the state.

With the annual commencement ceremonies fast approaching the subject of guest speakers is always on every ones mind. Who will speak, how long will they speak, will they bore you to tears, or will they inspire you to look within yourself and find your way in the cruel concrete jungle called life?

This year Rutgers University will be hosting Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison to speak at the commencement ceremony. To have an author speak should ignite admiration and excitement within the soon to be Rutgers alumni and adding Nobel Prize winner to that title should be like icing on a cake. So why then  do many of the students, teacher, alumni, and states residents have such a "long face"?

For the first time ever Rutgers University is not going to bestow the traditional Honorary Degree upon Morrison, but instead they will bestow her with money. Were not just talking nickles and dimes...were talking big bucks...30 thousand of them!

I for one completely understand the schools desire to bring big named speakers to the university by offering cash in exchange for an appearance, the way other big universities have done, however I do not agree with it. Although Rutgers spokesman  Ken Branson told The Record Newspaper ," neither state funds nor tuition money will pay the fee," he could not say whether the funds were from a private donation or not.

For me I believe that a key note speaker should WANT to speak at a particular university or college. It should be enough to be asked to do the school and its classman the honor of speaking to them, and to boot receive an Honorary Degree from that institution. It should not be about how much money a school can provide you with.

With tuition cost going up every year, the economy in a crippling state, and the world on the very brink of disaster I believe that the very least someone could do is WANT to give their time to a good cause.

I understand that everyone has to make a dollar to live,eat, and support their career and family, but I do not define general speaking engagements  at the local Barnes and Nobel to be the same as ones considered to be an Honor. Should an athlete speak to the press after a game only when paid for each "clip", should the President only give the State of The Union Address if we are able to meet his  small fee? Absolutely not!

At some point some things in life you have to do because you want to and not because of what you can get from it. If you really don't want to speak as a guest speaker than you shouldn't and no amount of money should change your mind. However, if you want to help enrich the lives of others through the gift that you've been given then you should do it not because money is on the table, but because it's the right thing to do and it's in your heart.

When I look around and see a money hungry world that is self destructing I only have to look around me to see why we are the way we are. I am sadden by the news that Rutgers has chosen to "sell out" for the first time ever in order to get a "notable"speaker and on the day where new graduates are supposed to take their new found career paths, ethics, and morals and go forth in the world and make it better, you will really be teaching them that everything and everyone is for sale, all things are negotiable,and that instead of doing for the good of others, do for the good of yourself.

......Today, I am not inspired...I am saddened.

*All photos are used courtesy of google photos*