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March, 2010

  1. Gift to Humanity

    March 19, 2010 by Tommy Titan

    Dear Tommy,
    I got an email before break about the Class Gift Campaign, and I even went out to the Web site to see more about it.  I kind of get it, but I kind of don’t.  More details, please?
    –TITAN T.

    Dear T.,

    IWU, like many schools, has a tradition of seniors giving a class gift before they graduate.  Each senior has historically given a contribution equal to his or her class year.  Those who graduated in 2001, for example, were each asked to give $20.01 in their last semester.  For years this has been very successful, as the majority of graduating seniors have participated, and the classes have left various treasures (benches, clocks, signs, etc) behind for future students…you guys.  The down side is that many of these same students would fail to renew their giving the following year as alumni—and the very purpose of the class gift is to introduce students to giving back…forever.  Because as you’re probably now very aware, the University needs financial support.

    So the Class Gift Campaign is a new twist on an old favorite.  Instead of asking you to give, say, $20.12 in your senior year, you’re being asked to give $5 in each of your first three years and then the remaining $5.12 in your senior year.  From what I understand, the point is that you’re giving no more money than you would have the old way, but by breaking it up over your four years you can understand how philanthropy works—that each and every year of your life, giving SOMETHING back is important.

    You might be surprised how poorly compensated I am for being an all-knowing mascot for a nationally ranked liberal arts institution, but despite that, I make sure I give back each and every year.  Also, if you want to check out on the Web site at WHY it’s important to give back, you’ll probably get schooled as to how we rely on alumni dollars.

    Now go, T., and spread the word!  Tommy gives back, and so can you…


  2. Lo, an Answer!

    March 10, 2010 by Tommy Titan

    Dear Tommy,
    I heard that I am going to be getting Direct Loans next year instead of the loans that I have been getting.  What does that mean?  What are Direct Loans?

    Dear E,

    What you heard is true, but don’t be scared.  Tommy’s here to make it all better (or at least to give you the full scoop).  Students will be receiving Direct Loans instead of the loans they have been getting—but this doesn’t really change anything.  Both the Direct Loans and your prior loans are federal loans that students get by completing the FAFSA application.  The main difference between them is where the money you borrow comes from.  Currently, the Financial Aid Office processes loans through lenders/banks of your choosing.  With Direct Loans, the Financial Aid Office will be processing them through Uncle Sam.  Going through the government will help ensure that funding is always available to students, no matter what is going on in the economy.  So that’s a good thing.

    The biggest impact to you is that you will have to recomplete some loan documents to get set up in the Direct Loan system.  But who wouldn’t do that if it means getting the moolah you need to keep going to school here, where you get to read my awesome column?  I understand that Financial Aid will also be sending you more information about the forms you will need to complete.


  3. Food for Thought

    March 3, 2010 by Tommy Titan

    Dear Tommy,
    While late night studying at CNS or Ames, people often need an energy boost or a stress reliever by either grabbing a bite to eat or working out. However, not a single place to eat on campus is open past 11pm and Shirk is going to start closing down at 10pm after Spring Break. Seeing as the only kind of money I have in my wallet is Munch Money, how am I supposed to beef up my bod late at night if nothing on IWU’s campus is open?

    Dear OWL,

    I’m detecting real underlying issues here.  First off, this whole notion of needing to grab something to eat as a BREAK from studying late at the library—I’m not buying it.  People often need an energy boost or stress reliever?  Come on, studying is supposed to be torturous—it is intended to slowly eat away at your soul as it saps the life from you and heaps on stress.  That IS studying.  If you want to eat or work out, that’s something else entirely.  How many people do you know that leave studying late at night to eat and/or work out and then return to studying?  Right, none.  Because once the eating and/or working out starts, you ain’t coming back to study.  So, my advice is to hoard SAGA food or forage for berries like a howler monkey prior to nestling in at Ames—because leaving for food can be equated with leaving all together.  But I caution you not to overindulge in the snacks while studying either.  The aforementioned soul-suck is accelerated by food coma.

    Secondly, Shirk is going to start closing at 10pm—and that’s a problem for whom?  If you were to leave studying sometime after 10pm to go run or lift or walk on your hands, I’m convinced you would be even less likely to return to your books than if you left to eat.  Once you get those endorphins flowing and work up a good sweat, the last thing you want to do is come back down to the hushed murmurs of the upper floors of Ames Library to stick your nose in inorganic chemistry.  No, if you’re looking for a workout past 10:00 at night, you’ve completed your academic pursuits for the day.

    The real issue here is a communication barrier between you and your parents, and we must break it down.  Before the next time we talk I’d like you to call them and simply state, “I need a car at school so I can drive late at night to any of the fine establishments in the greater Bloomington-Normal area and eat my weight in greasy fried foods.  I absolutely refuse to study past 11pm, and the only thing left for me to do is eat because they’re closing the gym on me.  I also will need some money so that I can pay for gas and said food.”  Try that and see what happens.  But studying WHILE eating and/or working out?  You can’t mix business with pleasure.