things I don’t understand.

My hometown is in an economically depressed part of a state in the midwest with a small liberal arts Christian university who owns about half the property in town.  I blogged about them here.  

I was reading facebook and one of my old high school friends who attends this university was defending my hometown, which I’m prone to do and the final quote from the facebook discussion caught my attention.

“maybe they should go back to there own home towns and go to there awesome christian college that brings people all over the US into there town….Oh wait…our “dump” has that. not theres. lol”

I left the grammar as is, by the way.  Let’s take this point by point.

-Awesome christian college.  There are awesome faith based schools, this is not one of them.  Academically they accept anyone with a pulse and a high school diploma or equivalent.  Their programs are not as good as the state schools and the tuition is four times as much.  Basically they’re paying private school tuition for junior college benefits.

Most staff are paid less than or at 30k.  I don’t know where you live, but that isn’t enough to money to live on period.  Also all staff and students sign a contract agreeing not to drink, dance, have extramarital sex, participate in homosexual activities and a laundry list of other “sins.  And that’s how awesome the “awesome Christian university” is.  One last thing, because they’re a religious institution they don’t pay property taxes.

-people from all over.  This is true, however, 90% of the student population does not work in my hometown so they are not giving back to my hometown with their tax dollars.  Students at this university have a tragically low off campus volunteerism rate.  So they really aren’t contributing in volunteer hours either.

Let’s talk about the staff.  We’ve already discussed how much they make.  So they give back in the form of local and state taxes.  Good.  But they don’t have any extra income to give back to the community through donations to the Salvation Army, or the local food shelter.  They don’t have extra income to go shopping and help stimulate the economy that way, and even if they had money to go shopping, no one goes shopping locally for anything that isn’t food.

So how awesome is this “awesome christian university” again?  I think I lost the awesome. Has anyone seen it?

Please, give back to your college towns.  Get a local job, buy locally, volunteer.  Your college town has or will give so much to you.  Give back.


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