To the Editor:
I disagree with Josh Eidelson’s assertion that by requiring students on financial aid to “invest in their education through waged labor,” the University is somehow preventing these students from participating fully in extracurricular life (“Seniors: In donations, look beyond just cash,” 2/7). Yale breeds an attitude of self-importance that often makes students think that lowly “waged labor” is a waste of their precious time. This could not be further from the truth. Working a real job, even if it is monotonous and unenlightening, teaches students self-reliance and personal financial management skills that no extracurricular position ever could.
I take pride in the fact that, come this May, I will have worked all four years that I have attended Yale. I am also proud of my extracurricular accomplishments, in particular of the leadership role I have played in my residential college. If doing my own taxes, managing my credit-card debt and relying on neither my parents nor Mother Yale to pay for my textbooks, plane tickets or personal items means that I missed out on participating in yet another student organization, I guess I can live with that. I am just glad that when I go to work next year, I will know the difference between a W-2 and a W-4.
Brian Murray ’06
Feb. 7, 2006
The writer is a former staff reporter for the News.