The Campaign for Change is not all it is cracked up to be

Matthew Wayman?

For those of you that haven’t already received 48 e-mails, 12 fliers and 16 pamphlets on the Campaign for Change, let me briefly explain what it is. Students (nearly 500 last year) donate money to the campaign’s fund. The money is gathered, and at the end of the year, students who donated have a chance at one of eight $500 scholarships. The scholarships go to “average Joes” like you and me. All you have to do is donate!?

?What could be wrong with that? Well, first of all, your odds of winning a scholarship are roughly (assuming “nearly 500 students” donate) 1 in 62. That is a 98.4 percent chance that you will lose your hard earned money (or maybe just the money your parents gave you). These aren’t lottery odds, but we’re also not dealing with lottery amounts of money. Maybe instead of throwing cash away on the Campaign for Change, I could do something with better odds, like betting on the over/under for the Browns game or blackjack. At least casinos are fun when they take my money.?

?Moreover, the campaign claims to have raised $40,000 in the last three years. “Yay!” I thought. “Campaign for Change is making it rain scholarships!” But then I remembered how third grade math works. Eight scholarships a year times three years times $500 a scholarship equals $12,000. I wonder if some of that unaccounted for $28,000 goes towards the huge promotional campaign for the program. Oh well. I’m just glad I know that Kent State would never start this resource-wasting program to create unnecessary jobs and enact shameless self-promotion, especially in such tough times (hooray for tuition hikes!). I know I’ve certainly never read about countless Kent State positions and departments that sound like something made up by picking random words out of a politically correct dictionary.?

?To add insult to injury, the whole campaign gloats about how philanthropic it all is. Since when is the lottery philanthropic? Sure, when I lose, I support the schools, but that is just something that makes me feel better about being bad with money. If I really wanted to take part in “the act of goodwill towards others,” maybe I could, I don’t know, donate my time and money to charity or buy some freshman a 12-pack. I could do something that doesn’t offer me any reward for my actions besides that nice feeling on my insides and a shot at a date with that cute hippie girl.?

?Maybe I’ve got it all wrong, though. Campaign for Change, I’m putting the ball in your court to enlighten me.

?Matthew Wayman is a senior geology major and guest columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at