Yesterday on the ground floor of Usdan during lunch, a few students presented a “Day of Giving Back/Diploma Sell-ebration” to the Wesleyan community. Susannah Greenblatt ‘16, Ari Ebstein ‘16, and David Whitney ‘16 advertised the University, offering diplomas for degrees in the following departments:
Moodles and Doodles
Theory of Praxis
Postmodern Label Grazing
These were offered for “four easy payments of $63,036 or a one-time payment of $302,572.80.” Cash and Wescards were acceptable forms of payment. The diplomas were in stacks on a table alongside admissions brochures, flyers, the Wesleyan viewbook, and the Profile of Students Offered Admission for Fall 2014.
Ebstein referred to the presentation as an “act of charity,” saying it was offering “to be initiated into the culture of privilege.” He added, “today is about giving back to the community of people who give us money. They deserve it, because they paid. Today is about giving back to people who can afford to be here.” Interested students had the opportunity to get their pictures snapped in Cardinal-red caps and gowns.
This presentation was both performance art and political commentary. “It’s like fun!” Greenblatt said in reference to the fact that they were playing lightheartedly with a heavy issue.
When I asked Ari if I could have permission to use his name, he responded “be sure to include my parents’ income too.”