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Snooki's appearance embarasses University

Dear University, I write to you as both an undergraduate alumnus (class of '05) and current graduate student in the University MBA program. I cannot express to you how disappointed I was upon hearing the news of Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi's paid appearance at the school.

This is a complete embarrassment and the school's claim that the tuition funds used were allocated for "entertainment" purposes is nonsense and simply misses the point. The bottom line is that $32,000 went to paying Snooki for one night. This is absurd and inexcusable. I speak particularly for the undergraduates who work incredibly hard to pay themselves through college — I was one of them. I currently work full-time and take graduate classes at night. The fact that any portion of higher learning money would be spent to make an untalented reality star even richer is simply shameful.

Let me also congratulate the University and the Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA) on perpetuating this country's unhealthy obsession with mindless reality television, which is no doubt making our youth dumber by the catfight. I don't care if 100,000 people attended the event — it would still be 100,000 people with their heads up their rear ends. There are a lot of things that are popular among students that should not be encouraged and I think this is one of them. I know it has become almost cliché to say at this point, but this is part of the reason why our students are being left in the dust by students of other countries who are more motivated and focused than their American counterparts. I just didn't expect an institution of higher learning — and my alma mater, nonetheless — to contribute to this trend.

Maybe I was wrong to want to go to the University in the first place to try to make something more of myself. I mean, despite this fancy degree, my chances of ever getting paid $32,000 to speak at an event are pretty slim — apparently even if I become a Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winner.

I am not a parent who is paying their child's tuition or an old school alum who is not with the times and is enraged over this misuse of tuition funds. I am twenty-something years old, a working professional and a self-paying student who knows when something is ridiculous and wrong. I guess I just expected more out of my University than to play into this unintelligible pop-culture phenomenon. I expected that the University might be above the stupidity and thoughtlessness that is the "Jersey Shore." I guess I was wrong — again.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have homework to do.

Darren Monroe is a Rutgers Business School graduate student.

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