March 5, 2008

Sent In By You

Here's a letter from a Mads reader to Mads readers:

Dear Mads readers,
I would like to apologize for the two comments that I posted on the message board today [Setting The Record Straight] under the post concerning the graduation speaker. I made a misstatement based on conjecture in a subject about which I have little knowledge and zero experience. I responded to the flak that I appropriately took for making an ignorant statement and promptly put my other foot in my mouth. I would like to distance myself from these statements but, since I made them in the most public way possible and on a site that a decent percentage of this campus reads, I can only apologize for them and gladly accept the verbal thrashing or charitable neglect due to me on the message boards of this wonderful blog. Thanks for reading, Mads and Vassar family.

Sincerely,
Zack Miller '10


Email us at MadsVassar [at] gmail [dot] com

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

i agree with what you said originally. i don't know why we're pretending that financial aid is NOT a form of liberal welfare. it is. that doesn't mean we shouldn't have it, but it should be acknowledged as welfare, defined as large groups of people paying into a system to help people who can't help themselves. students who pay full tuition, donors, and alumni all pay into the college, and the school allocates some of their resources to allowing the poor to attend vassar, who otherwise couldn't afford it. no need to apologize!

caitlinmae said...

Politics aside, it's still impressive you acknowleged the flaws in your statement and apologized.
That takes guts.
--Caitlin Burke

Anonymous said...

people "can't help themselves" because tuition here is exorbitant. furthermore, the school makes a real effort to market itself to the elite, wealthy class. all those "poor" kids who need vassar scholarship are often the most qualified and hardest working of all students. please stop acting like vassar is doing a favor to those who can't afford the outrageous tuition here. the school should feel lucky to have these students.

Anonymous said...

vassar is an elite school my friends. if you don't want to be surrounded by the future rich and powerful, go someplace else

Anonymous said...

financial aid is a 'favor' to low-income students. rich schools like vassar could just not offer financial aid and give better buildings and stuff to its rich students, who would go on to become successful and powerful. but we're nice enough to use our money to give poorer kids a chance to get an excellent education and make it in the world.

Anonymous said...

you people really make me realize why i hate going to this school. you're so full of yourselves, especially 5:17. 3 more years of living with the most assinine, spoiled, snobby people I've ever met in my entire life. :(

Anonymous said...

hey, 7:50, believe it or not some of us actually want to avoid being rich and powerful. me, i'm aiming for conscientious and happy. but have fun growing up to join the well-paid ranks of the oppressor!

zack miller '10 said...

The amount of elitism that is taking place on this page is extremely upsetting. If anyone came away from my original post with the idea that I share any sentiment with the self-righteous, presumptuous posts by 5:17 and 8:26, I am truly sorry. Giving financial aid to students whose families can't swing our incredibly high tuition costs isn't a "favor." It's the responsibility of any institution that considers educational opportunity to be a thing of value, and this college certainly has the means to give a lot.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 8:58
this really shows whats wrong with this country-the american dream is just complete bs.

Anonymous said...

7:50, 8:26 ,you don't get it - my education is not free - every year since i was 18 idiots like you pay me 40 grand to be here. why - because i am ten times smarter than you. you are needed here just for your money, because let's face it - you are outcasts in the evolutionary process.

Anonymous said...

It's spelled asinine.

Anonymous said...

the american dream isn't bs. the poor SHOULD aspire to become wealthy and powerful. every american should, and every american has a chance to. financial aid is one of the mechanisms by which people can advance themselves beyond the means into which they were born.

and as to the comment about the "oppressors" being the rich... are we socialists now? the rich are not oppressors any more than the poor are intentionally oppressed. if the rich really wanted to maintain control, we wouldn't bother allowing institutions like vassar to give away elite education.

Anonymous said...

-Wow, some of the commentators on here are incredibly ignorant. You know who you are. I just really hope its only a few of you who think like that. Its scary to read comments like that. You'd think educated people would not be so elitist. Makes you wonder just how educated you are. I applaud Zack for apologizing. I understood your intentions and that you did not mean to directly link the two but you see the problem with even trying to...
-Ignorant people look for whatever chance they can to leech onto anything even remotely offensive and spew their twisted worldview.
-Sorry this was really long, its just that "5:17 and 8:26" really ticked me off. As if Welfare recipients (the ones I know)and FinAid recipients are the same type of people!
-And this garbage about it being a "favor" is too ridiculous to even argue.
~Brian

Anonymous said...

dude i'm with 9:59, you people are socialists. this whole "the rich are evil" and "the poor are innocent and oppressed and actually smarter and more deserving than the rich" sounds like communist propaganda.

Anonymous said...

8:26, seriously, I hope that you get a cold taste of reality someday. Fucking douche.

Anonymous said...

they ARE the same kind of people - lower-income. which isn't a judge of their character, just their wealth.

Anonymous said...

6:56
"people "can't help themselves" because tuition here is exorbitant. furthermore, the school makes a real effort to market itself to the elite, wealthy class. all those "poor" kids who need vassar scholarship are often the most qualified and hardest working of all students. please stop acting like vassar is doing a favor to those who can't afford the outrageous tuition here. the school should feel lucky to have these students."

SO TRUE. vassar should thank its lucky stars that it has these students.

Anonymous said...

"financial aid is a 'favor' to low-income students. rich schools like vassar could just not offer financial aid and give better buildings and stuff to its rich students, who would go on to become successful and powerful. but we're nice enough to use our money to give poorer kids a chance to get an excellent education and make it in the world."

i can't believe someone would make a comment like this. don't phrase it like it's a zero sum situation -- as if giving financial aid means giving up on pretty buildings.

by the way, financial aid is a favor to RICH KIDS, because otherwise they'd be trapped in a bubble forever. and they would just go on to make colossal and ignorant asses of themselves in the real world.

Anonymous said...

...because the ignorant elitism exemplified by 8:26 doesn't even deserve to be remarked upon.

10:59: "by the way, financial aid is a favor to RICH KIDS, because otherwise they'd be trapped in a bubble forever. and they would just go on to make colossal and ignorant asses of themselves in the real world."
We're lucky that Mads gives them their bubble to "make colossal and ignorant asses of themselves."

Anonymous said...

You know, it was my dream to get into Vassar. And for most of my life, it would have been completely possible for my family to pay for it. And then my father became disabled and my mother had to start working two jobs to keep my family under a roof. So sure, I'm poor, and the only reason my dream came true is because I worked my fucking ass off in high school and I work my fucking ass off here and Vassar gives me financial aid. It's not because my parents have slacked off and live off the money of richer people. It's because my father was in the wrong place at the wrong time and now he lives in constant pain.

So are you going to tell me I don't belong here? I'm not apologizing for aspiring to go to a school that my family can't afford. Thanks for making me feel inferior. I thought that I could be accepted at Vassar but apparently that's not true.

I just hope all of your families don't have something happen to them like what happened to mine. I wouldn't want anyone else to feel like I do now as I read all these comments.

(I'm not putting my name here because I know there are more people than just me who feel this way.)

Mads' Blog said...

We don't usually leave comments, as we feel the comment boards are for our readers to. However, we are upset about some of these comments. Please do not think our blog endorses such ignorant comments.

Please email us at madsvassar@gmail.com if you have any concerns, especially about the way we "moderate" comments.

Anonymous said...

7:50 and 8:26, you think of yourselves as an elite??? i am sorry, you are just two dumb rich kids who go to college just because you have money to pay for it. you are the real dead-weight to society, you are the very definition of lumpens (and if you don't know what the word means you can open a dictionary or a read a book - don't worry, it might seem hard at first but there is always a first time)

Anonymous said...

i dont think anyone on this blog is saying that financial aid is bad or that we shouldn't have it. it seems like the arguments made here are just whether social welfare is an entitlement or not.

some social welfare is an entitlement, i think, so long as the college can afford it. why not subsidize people to go here if they can benefit from the education and become just as rich and successful as someone who started out their college experience rich? isn't the ultimate aim of vassar to produce smart and successful people? financial aid simply makes it possible more capable people (as regulated by the admissions office) to get a superb education. this benefits them, it benefits other students, and it benefits society as a whole.

Anonymous said...

12:15:
Thank you for representing those of us who are neither elite nor rich, and probably value our Vassar educations far more than the likes of 7:50 and 8:26 due to the amount of hard work we put in to get in and stay here. We measure the price of our education not just in dollars but in hours spent to bridge the gap between the privileged few and the rest of the country; it's amazing how much more you appreciate something when you take nothing for granted and never have anything simply handed to you.

Don't let them tell you don't belong here. You've earned it, which is more than can be said for some.

Anonymous said...

Owned by 9:35PM.

Anonymous said...

8:26, 9:59--Wow! Whoever is paying for your education should definitely get his or her money back soon! There are much better ways to invest all that money, because your education at Vassar has done nothing for either one of you so far.

The American dream is a joke. It is merely used as a justification for the rich to gain and/or waste ridiculous amounts of money while people around them live in below standard conditions and struggle to make ends meet.

Anonymous said...

kudos, Zack, not only for acknowledging your errors, but for being one of a very few people who refuses to hide behind an anonymous comment.
Casey

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone so fucking concerned about being rich? If I end up an English teacher, I'll consider that an enormous success, as long as that turns out to be what I want to do with my life. There is no shame in doing good work that places you in a lower tax bracket - allowing society to define success for you is only a way to prevent people from realizing their true goals, and from realizing the ways that our economic system (read: free market, free trade capitalism. bring it, you whiny econ fucks) has failed so many people.

Sonia said...

Let me preface this by saying that I am not on financial aid.

I was raised in a household that believes a good education is a human right, not a privilege of the upper class. I was raised to cherish knowledge and respect academic pursuit.

Financial aid exists not as a favor to the poor but to encourage a meritocracy. When power is given indiscriminately based on wealth rather than competence, the result is Dubya. Oligarchy sucks.

The difference between financial aid and welfare is that financial aid is awarded based on admission standards, and welfare is awarded based on income status or disability. That letter of admission is a certificate only of merit, and by sending it, Vassar is telling you that you are an excellent scholar and that they would like to see you continue your studies. That is all.

Issues with this comment? soroberts(at)vassar.

Anonymous said...

she's completely right. welfare gives to the poor indiscriminately at the expense of everyone. financial aid just gives to those with lower incomes who are in every other respect EQUAL to their "rich" (although that word is problematic) peers. it's not like vassar is trying to find dumb poor kids and giving them a free ride. everyone admitted is equally smart and capable.

Anonymous said...

2:59, i beg to disagree. you are far from being equally intelligent to me or most of the people i associate with. quite the contrary - you are doomed to haunt the realms of idiocy eternally. why? even if i explained you still would not get it.

Anonymous said...

please do, i see no problem in my comment. - 2:59

Sonia said...

6:04: 2:59 was just lauding me. If you disagree with anything I have said, please say so and I will try to correct the misunderstanding.

Leona Brannon 2011 said...

I find it funny that the all of the kids on here making comments about how financial aid is comparable to welfare can and will only do so on a blog. Since we are in the real world and surrounded by real live "poor" kids, most likely of color, why not hold a dialog with us? Yes, us because I too am a beneficiary of the poor rich person's stolen money. Don't be afraid to stand up in your bigotry and ignorance. We will be happy to give you the education you really need. Free of charge.

Anonymous said...

2:59 > 6:04

Anonymous said...

What many of you are ignoring in your posts is that there are many people here who by chance happened to grow up in the so-called "upper-middle class" (which is a ridiculous term because it seems to imply that we are above other equally or more intelligent, talented people) and therefore did have money to pay for Vassar, but are just as qualified to be here as any other student, financial aid or not. My mother is a widowedt single parent who was denied any hint of financial aid because her income is above a certain level, disregarding her current situation of putting two children through college and graduate school.

Getting into Vassar had absolute no idea with my economic background. I worked just as hard as any other student to get into Vassar, and am deeply offended and surprised by any student who would make the blanket statement claim that the people who pay full tuition are "rich, bubble kids" who do not deserve to be here. Nearly every poster here is far too eager to point fingers and blame the other socioeconomic group.

Lastly, Vassar is not an institution that has more than enough money to hand out financial aid, which is why the tuition is so high. I am in no way resentful that part of my full tuition goes to financial aid - every high school student that is qualified academically and personally (because getting into this school is not just about your grades, they want thoughtful people who contribute with their ideas and beliefs, not just their scores) should be given an equal opportunity to come here. In case anybody wonders why we get so many freaking parking tickets when there are so many spots open in North Lot, it's because Vassar does not have the money to sustain all of its expenditures (many of which are extremely legitimate) solely from student tuition. There are no graduate programs bringing in money, which puts Vassar at a huge financial disadvantage to many other Ivy League or similar institutions.

Anonymous said...

I dont even go there yet i am coming next fall. but i thought vassar students were more tolerant of other views and opinions, not so judgmental and rude. some comments here have really shocked me. others have encouraged me. why are you fighting about this on an internet blog?

Anonymous said...

Like the person above, i'm also a high school student who is going to Vassar next fall. And I've always regarded Vassar as the bastion of liberalism, tolerance, and well intelligence. But it really disturbs me when I read dumb, ignorant comments by people who support such an elitist and close-minded point of view. I'm not going to discuss my financial status...but who cares if I'm a billionaire or if I grew up on the streets...is that what people care about at Vassar? Is that how you measure someone's worth and quality? By their financial aid? By their ability to pay full tuition?

Get over it. I'd rather discuss Kierkegaard with someone than their father's yearly income. Some people need money, others don't. End of story.

Linda 2012 said...

Wow, I am utterly shocked that some of these offensive comments are coming from college students. Students from one of the nation's most prestigious colleges to say the least. Students from my future college! Oy!
I thought the point of an education was to eliminate these views. Rich or poor, our financial status is by chance, not by our own doings. Why be arrogant or ashamed of it? And why do we think that being poor is necessarily bad and being wealthy is necessarily good?
Heck, my personal statement was about how being poor enhanced the development of my character. Guess what? I got in. And I wouldn't trade my life in for any wealthy person's (for any amount of money lol).