President Joe Biden is expected to give the upper-middle class a major welfare benefit by forgiving some portion of college student loans.
One theory why student debt ballooned so much that a government write-off became a necessity, as some liberals see it, is that greedy universities kept jacking up tuition because the taxpayers backed the hikes.
But the conservative group Campus Reform offers another theory about tuition – especially in Florida.
Students at both public and private universities for over thousands of dollars each year for “activity fees” that amount to little more than “LGBTQ+ and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives,” Campus Reform reported last week.
The group looked at four Florida universities – Florida State, the University of Central Florida, and the universities of Miami and Tampa, which are private.
Some recipients that raked in tens of thousands of dollars included the Black Student Union, PRIDE, and Hispanic/Latinx Student Union. “These three organizations received the most student government funding of all campus agencies,” Campus Reform noted of FSU.
The funds they received were paid from the “fees” collected by all students.
But not all the fees benefit all students.
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For example, Campus Reform reported that FSU’s Department of Student Government and Advocacy routinely hosts “Allies and Safe Zones” information sessions, while its Office of Representation, Inclusion, & Student Equity held a “Lavender Graduation” specifically to celebrate LGBTQ students.
Moreover, the President’s Council on Diversity & Inclusion gives “mini-grants” of up to $1,000 to “projects that further the diversity goals of the University.”
Overall, FSU spent $1,625 per student on student services costs in 2020.
Likewise, UCF spent from its student-fee budget $45,300 for LGBTQ programs and services, $150,000 for programs at the Multicultural Student Center, and its student government spent big to promote “numerous DEI events,” such as “awareness training and workshops.”
That training covered things like Safe Zone Training (under LGBTQ services), and diversity training, such as the “AntiRacist Leadership Project,” which “empower[ed]” students to “undertake their own social justice projects and research,” according to Campus Reform.
UCF spent $1,158 per student on its activities budget.
At UM, students coughed up $3,361 per student for woke extracurricular activities. These included changing the campus constitution to include gender-neutral language, and adopting a recommendation for the president’s office to promote “Black Awareness Month for years to come.”
UM’s student government or the administration also planned presentations on Women’s History Month, anti-Asian Violence and a “Senior Mwambo” ceremony to honor black graduates. UM also features new housing for LGBTQ students, and the president’s office funds mini-grants of up to $5,000 that explicitly address issues “related to anti-Black racism and racial justice.”
Another private school, the University of Tampa, spent $3,128 a student on its student services. Some of those events included University of Tampa Pride’s annual drag show for students, “De-stereotype Me Day” and “The Coming Out Chronicles.” And demand for such programs grows. A UT task force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion said in a report, “Put simply, we suggest prioritizing DEI efforts as an important criterion in resource allocation.”
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Much of this activity is separate and apart from what college administrations themselves are doing to promote DEI hiring and programs.
As The Free Press reported last August, concerning a study by the conservative Heritage Foundation, the typical university has 3.4 staffers for each 100 professors that work exclusively on DEI tasks, many of whom come with six-figure salaries.