Recently, I was disappointed to learn that the senior class gift for the Class of 2010 has been designated to scholarships for future students participating in the VISION program. This is not because I find anything wrong with the VISION program, but rather because of the lack of student input in this designation.
I first became aware of the designation via an e-mail sent to all seniors on April 11 from our class president, Thomas Engrav. In the section regarding the senior class gift, he writes, “I, along with a committee of seniors, decided that we’d like our class to raise money to create a scholarship that will support students who want to participate in the VISION program.” I do not know who the members of the committee referenced in the e-mail are or how or when it was set up. To my knowledge there was no vote taken to determine the membership of this committee.
I have chosen not to support the senior class gift because of the lack of representation given to the students of our class in designating the recipients of our generosity. To clarify, this has nothing to do with the quality or worthiness of the VISION program, but simply the fact that no one other than the members of the “committee” had any say in where the money is going. Had a class-wide election been held and the VISION program came out on top, I would have most definitely supported the fund. I was under the impression that in the past, senior gifts have gone into a general scholarship pool, supporting all future students equally with no designation. Any departure from this prior precedent should have been put to a vote by all members of our class.
Seniors, if you have not yet received a call from the St. Thomas Development Office soliciting a donation to the senior class gift, you will soon. I was contacted last night and shared my views with the student caller. If you feel the same way I do, I urge you to not support the Class of 2010 scholarship fund and outline your reasons for doing this to the student caller. I do hope that this sends a message to future classes to change the system and give seniors a voice in what happens with our gifts.
John Gummerson, senior