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'Snooki,' Morrison deserve comparison

The editorial published in The Daily Targum on April 4, "Do not compare Snooki, Morrison," defending the $32,000 paid to Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi as not comparable to the $30,000 paid to commencement speaker Toni Morrison is full of flaws in logic and makes the editors look defensive and, frankly, juvenile.

It is irrelevant that Morrison is the first University commencement speaker to be paid. The fact is she is being paid an amount that puts her value at less than Snooki's.

It is irrelevant that both of Snooki's shows sold out. If what I read in the press is accurate, each show accommodated 500 people. Morrison will be speaking to 52,000 people.

It is outrageous for the editors to state that ‘the sad but true fact is that Morrison would never sell out two shows in one night at the University." Are they crazy? If a robust academic community like the University could not sell 2,000 tickets to hear a woman who is both a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and a Pulitzer Prize winner, then my alma mater has deteriorated to a point where I do not recognize it.

It is also irrelevant that the each speaker's fees came from a different source. So what? That is a distinction without a difference. Two separate arms of the University money machine were not communicating when they should have been. Perception is all. This will affect recruitment and alumni donations, including mine.

Finally, speaking of perception, when I attended the University, there was a low-level inferiority complex regarding that school down Route 1 — Princeton University. Now, thanks to this debacle, we can feel inferior to schools across the nation.


Elizabeth Hallowell is a Douglass College Class of 1980 alumna.

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