Pizza money better spent on bringing about change

Jen Steer

For the first two years of my college education, my home phone rang off the hook with phone calls from the armed services. These recruiters were relentless. No matter how many times my mom and I told them to take me off their list, they kept calling. I even had one caller from the Air Force tell me I could do any profession I wanted in the Air Force. When I told him I wanted to be a broadcast journalist, he hung up.

At the same time I got these calls to finally stop, a new phone menace was coming my way. During the 2004 presidential election, I somehow placed myself on a call list for the Democratic National Committee. So for the last two years my house has been bombarded with callers asking for money.

Since I don’t live at home anymore, my mom has been forced to deal with the calls. “She’s in college.” “She doesn’t live here.” “She’s dead.” While I was at home for break, I made the mistake of answering the phone. I guess I was just hoping it was another Gallup Poll, but it wasn’t. It was the DNC again.

It’s really not the phone calls that bother me. It’s the fact that they continuously call and ask for money, when it would be much easier for me to donate my time. The most recent time they called, I told them I am a poor college student who needs to eat. The man on the phone replied “We accept donations of a hundred dollars or more, but of course, all gifts are appreciated.” Yeah, I’m sure the five dollars in quarters I need to wash my clothes are really going to help the Dems win in ’08. Next time, I think I’ll say: “If you can find a way to repeal the cutback in Pell grants, I might have a little bit of extra money.”

Honestly, if I had the extra cash I would give it to a campaign I really believed in. I am a horrible Democrat because I can’t hand over large amounts of cash. But thankfully, there is one campaign that gets what college students are all about. The Students for Barack Obama Web site offers a new twist on the fund-raising game.

The Web site reads “We understand that money is not exactly something we all have a lot of to spare; that’s why we put together a list of some of the things you can skip or pass on once — and donate the amount you saved.” Among the items on the list are a Starbucks caramel macchiato, a club cover charge and a bottle of Smirnoff vodka. Now these people understand the life of a college student.

Some of us are politically conscious and we want to feel like what we do will help the cause. If donating to Obama’s campaign means I won’t get to enjoy a six-pack of beer (also listed on the site), then I can deal with it. These are the kinds of cutbacks that I can afford and I’m willing to give up if it means I can help the White House turn blue.

Jen Steer is a junior broadcast news major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].