SATIRE: Stop nickel-and- diming me, WSU

Paying for a folder just so the school can tell me I’m a decent writer is criminal



Why are the small fees the most annoying ones? It is almost as if WSU is trying to get every last penny they can out of every single student.

JACOB HERSH, Evergreen columnist

When you’re considering college costs, it’s important to remember that tuition, housing and books don’t necessarily cover everything. There are costs that’ll nickel-and-dime you, sneaking little chunks out of your wallet until one day, you go to Venmo a girl 75 cents for a peck on the lips and realize you’re broke. Strapped. Fresh out of dough. Somehow, you’ve been paying money day in and day out in small enough amounts that it seems like it won’t make a difference, but over a semester? It’s added up. Death by a thousand financial cuts, if you will.

But what have we been spending money on, as financially precarious college kids? Sure, there’s the occasional late-night pizza run, or 22 bucks for a 30-rack of ditchwater Natty Light, but those aren’t really the main culprits. No, it’s something far deeper and more insidious. College administrators everywhere have done their best to cover it up, but they don’t call me the “Bob Woodward of the Pacific Northwest” for nothing, or else why would I have it monogrammed on my socks and tattooed on my ass?

The real villain of the perfidious sunk costs game is something that no one would ever have thought to consider: the writing portfolio fee.

Most of you know what I’m talking about, and it brings a shiver to your spine and a quiver to your step to even think about the cosmic injustice present in the notorious Writing Portfolio scam.

“Yeah, there’s no real point to it,” said WSU Financial Administrator Daren Barrett, kicking a puppy into the wall. “We just like watching people suffer.” 

Barrett explained that the mandatory writing portfolio hasn’t been proven to be an accurate judge of student’s writing abilities but serves as more of a “fun pastime” for bored college administrators.

“I don’t even grade the sh-t, honestly,” Barrett said, putting out a lit cigar on a child’s forehead. “I run ‘em through one of those industrial shredders, and randomly assign people a grade between C and F. It’s probably illegal, but I’ve never been caught. Hey, this isn’t an interview for the newspaper, right?”

Given the obvious waste of student’s time and money, you’d think WSU would have scrapped the program years ago. However, the $2 writing portfolio folder is just one of many steps in what’s known to secret WSU financiers as “The Scam of all Scams” (TSOAS).

Essentially, the strategy is to literally and figuratively bleed students of everything they’re worth, including cash, family heirlooms and even blood. AB+ is going for $100 a pint, which for many broke students, is too good of a deal to pass up.

“I’ll probably end up dying of anemia at some point, but I gotta pay for books, you know?” said Randy Nowell, a freshman sociology major, on his way to the Blood 4 Cash center in the Compton Union Building.

Some more of WSU’s less publicized financial schemes include the Human Gerbil Farm, in which students run on makeshift treadmills to power the student dorms and are paid by the mile. Sometimes, when the lights in McEachern flicker, you can hear a faint shriek as a hapless 3rd-year neuroscience major is pulled into the machinery and crushed, an incident that occurs, on average, about twice a week.

Another scheme, that rivals the writing portfolio for general malfeasance, is the Kidneys for Kash deal, offered once a semester. Students deep in the financial hole can opt to have one of their kidneys removed, in exchange for free room and board (for a week.)

“Honestly, it’s one of the better deals I’ve ever gotten when it comes to paying tuition,” said Moe Dinero, a sophomore business major. “One kidney for room and board? It’s fantastic, bro. I might even do it again next semester.”

There are hundreds of other examples of Faustian deals between students and administration to pay off college debt, but there’d never be enough room to describe them all. Sufficed to say, the sick and twisted ways students are forced to pay to attend classes rival Middle Age torture for their creativity. The Spanish Inquisition pales in comparison to the truly sick tasks students are conned into performing, just to earn a little cash to buy ramen. I should know; I’m an opinion columnist.