Editorial: Giving Day doesn’t give, it takes


The Editorial Board

Between service days, alternative spring breaks and yearlong outreach programs, Northeastern boasts many opportunities for students to practice philanthropy. The university proudly advertises events designed to foster a sense of community spirit. 

Giving Day is an annual event heavily marketed by Northeastern, that took place April 12.

We already pay an exorbitant amount to be here. Meal plans are required our first year. We have to pay residential and activity fees. Many pay dues for clubs. So when Northeastern targets students on Giving Day, it feels more corporate than philanthropic.

The university makes Giving Day impossible to ignore — reminders can be found all over campus, with flyers on every bulletin board, decals on the steps outside Snell Library and emails in each student’s inbox. 

Beyond the fanfare, Giving Day is an excuse for the university to solicit money from students, families, alumni, faculty and staff. 

Families and students often go into debt attempting to pay the tuition fees that private universities in the United States demand. And still, Northeastern has the audacity to request that we give more.

This year, Northeastern University received 12,259 donations, with a total value of $708,434. 

If one donates, they have the choice of which department their gift will benefit. But Northeastern has no obligation to publicly state the specific programs where the money goes. 

This is not the only strategy the university has for such a ploy. Take, for instance, the fact that each Northeastern student is alloted 120 dollars for printing and 45 dollars for laundry each semester. If this amount goes unused, the money cannot be refunded and instead goes back to the university. 

Many students are required to purchase a meal plan where their issued meals expire at the end of each week. Should a student not use a meal swipe, the meal, along with the money spent on it, simply disappears. Other universities have programs like Swipe Out Hunger, which allocates meal swipes to students in need.

Though Northeastern makes it seem as though each student has choices in terms of how they spend their money, the truth is we hardly get a say. 

Instead of using institutional money to put on the production that is Giving Day, the university should allocate those funds to programs and clubs that directly benefit students. Considering that many students already struggle to afford college, Northeastern should not pressure them to give more.