Although Stanford makes over $6 billion in revenue, only about one-fifth of that money is designated as a ‘general fund,’ meaning the University can spend the money on anything it deems fit.
We should think about our charity as carefully as we reflect on our work life and as responsibly as we strive to manage our personal relationships. We can do better than The Stanford Fund wants us to. Helping the very needy is a more admirable legacy for a Stanford education.
I am a graduating senior and I did not make a “Senior Gift” contribution to The Stanford Fund. So why didn’t I give? Do I hold a grudge? Was it the satisfaction of dissent? Or are there legitimate reasons why I should withhold my donation? I started asking myself the very questions from those TSF emails: To whom should I be grateful for my Stanford experience and how should I express that gratitude? Unlike a debt, gratefulness isn’t beholden to any particular institution – whether it be a person, school or state. Therefore, for my Senior Gift, I donated to the CCSF scholarship fund. Its students deserve it more than we do.
TSF is an annual fundraising campaign that collects gifts from alumni and University community members. All money raised is spent under the discretion of the University president with the goal of improving the experience of undergraduate students.
With two weeks left before graduation, the Class of 2012 remains slightly behind last year’s record participation in Senior Gift donations. Gift organizers expressed optimism, however, that seniors’ contribution to the student-driven initiative will spike in the final weeks.
Around 10 percent of admitted students petition the Financial Aid Office each year in hopes of increasing the amount of aid that would be awarded to them if they came to Stanford, according to Karen Cooper, director of financial aid.
There a few things that all Stanford students seem to bond over: the beautiful weather (the number of screen captures I’ve seen that compare the weather here to the weather in Cambridge, where it is 32 degrees, is much too high, and yet every photo has multiple Facebook likes), petitions (this past week has been full of Senate and special fees requests in particular), and our common dislike of TSF letters.
Stanford’s second iDeclare week, an event series designed to assist sophomores with the process of declaring a major, took place last week from Jan. 23to Jan. 27.