Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Life in A2

Hello general first month of college post. This is a list of things that pop into my head as I reflect on my first four weeks as a Wolverine living in the dorms of Ann Arbor. 

1. I never appreciated having my own bathroom until coming here. 
2. I didn't know how many rich people there are until I came here. 
3. There is a never-ending supply of delicious food in Ann Arbor. 
4. How you design your schedule is SO important
5. Having your roommate become your friend is an awesome rarity. 
6. There are 3 questions you ask and answer during Welcome Week: Name, origin,and major. You meet a million different people your first week here. 
7. The schools enormous size is a good thing 99.9% of the time. 
8. I really like blending in sometimes. I didn't know that until now. 
9. Focusing on only a few clubs is the best way to go. 
10. I never knew how many stereotypes and prejudices I carried. It's a process to clean yourselves of them.
11. Not that many kids here are on scholarships. That blows my mind. (see last post)
12. I am really lucky to live 40 minutes away. 
13. Dining hall food here is the bomb compared to CA lunches. 
14. Planners and weekly whiteboards are my best friend. 
15. Things the University says are "mandatory" are usually not.
16. You see the coolest, weirdest, most hilarious things everyday. 
17. Michigan is known as an arrogant school but we are very kind to each other. 
18. The preachers who visit the Diag are not so accepting. 
19. Democrats rule the land.
20. It takes about two minutes of knowing someone for a deep and intimate conversation to happen here. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Complaint About My very Generous Scholarship

       Yeah weird title, I know. First off, I love it here at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. This place is amazing on so many levels and I thank God that I am here everyday. I meant to blog about that since I arrived in this beautiful, artistic, and intellectually stimulating place. This post is to discuss an issue that I think deserves attention. The out of state and international students pay a whopping $50,000 per year to attend this school. It costs about half of that for in-state students (me). These numbers are important because financial priorities here are messed up.
       Earning a scholarship from UofM is a rarity. This seems hard to believe if you come from Carman-Ainsworth, where everyone admitted receives a $40,000 scholarship for the four years of undergraduate study. This scholarship is awarded because of the "potential" the donors see in us CA students but the reality is that we go to a predominately African American school, which is an underrepresented population at the University. The day I received my scholarship was one of the happiest days of my life. The joy I felt and the appreciation I continue to feel towards Jean Fairfax and everyone involved with my scholarship is astronomical. It made my dream school a possibility. Yet, as I have met so many brilliant international and out of state students paying double the money without scholarships, I cannot help but to see the inequality.
      The solution to this problem would be to extend more scholarships to those admitted students who are not residents of Michigan. Without any expertise accounting skills, it is easy to see that the sports program here could spare a few dollars. To put it lightly, they are swimming in cash. Brady Hoke is the head football coach. For the fame and glory of leading the Wolverines, he is earning 18+ million dollars for six years. (That is 3 million per year with a 1.5 million bonus at the end of the third and sixth years). Can you say ridiculous? How about the $52,000,000 renovation project that is currently taking place at the basketball arena? 
        I understand that sports bring in a ton of money for the school. I would like to believe that some of the their revenue already goes towards providing scholarships. However, even if it does, it is clearly not enough. Too many students work extremely hard in high school only to be told that there are not enough scholarships for them, in turn crushing their chance of enrollment. Too many parents have to take on second jobs or sacrifice in other areas of their lives to be able to send their children here. 
Thanks for reading my rant. Have a wonderful day and Go Blue.