This weekend marks the end of the six-year More Light! campaign, which met its goal of raising over $150 million for the university. This campaign has been a very successful initiative, which will benefit the Lawrence community in numerous ways.
The More Light! campaign funnels money into The Lawrence Fund, the Endowment, New Initiatives and Capital Projects. One aspect of the More Light! campaign is the student giving program, “Be the Light.”
The “Be the Light” campaign has recently started celebrating the success of the More Light! campaign by attempting to get students involved in the process. The campaign purchased blue piggy banks, named “Larry the Pig,” and put them in each student’s mailbox.
Students were then encouraged to fill these piggy banks with their petty change and donate them to the Lawrence Fund through a highly-advertised campaign. Aside from receiving “Larry the Pig” in their mailboxes, students were also emailed by “Larry the Pig” — who apparently has his own Lawrence email address.
We at The Lawrentian recognize the good intention behind the program — cultivating a culture of giving back to the university in students early — yet feel that this campaign is too aggressively forward in its approach. Instead of simply making students aware of the opportunity to donate to The Lawrence Fund should they feel compelled to, this campaign feels strangely pushy.
Students are already investing in Lawrence by paying for tuition, and they also contribute to the university through campus involvement, garnering press for their academic and athletic achievements.
One of the main points of the “Be the Light” campaign is that tuition only covers about 60 percent of the cost of attendance. However, it feels insulting to ask students to contribute to venues like the Lawrence Fund when most students currently receive financial aid from the Fund already. Students can be thankful for the many opportunities available at Lawrence without donating extra money in addition to tuition.
Additionally, the goal of this campaign is confusing. How much did it cost to purchase “Larry the Pig” piggy banks for the entire student body, along with the various prizes which students can win for donating?
We fully support the goal of raising student awareness about the giving opportunities available, but we feel that the campaign should take on a less pushy, over-the-top approach.