Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Graduation Dues

I emailed Gretchen Adelson and Lindsey Bartlett, SBA Graduation Committee Co-chairs, about what the $55 "graduation dues" get spent on. Find below their response, which an email to the Class of 2010 today mostly co-opted (Ed. note: but for those of you not in the c/o 2010, here's what you have to look forward to). I don't have any strong opinions about it, but I appreciate knowing where the money is going.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to shed some light on 3L dues. We know that $55 is a lot of money, but the money is necessary to fund a wide variety of events for graduation weekend, as well as 3L events throughout the year. We understand that times are tight for everyone and that is why we made sure that we would not raise dues this year (they have consistently been $55 for the last several years). With that being said, here is a better idea of how dues will be used.

The vast majority of the dues (approximately 4/5) pay for events and regalia related to graduation weekend itself. These events include a catered reception at the Law School the night before graduation and a breakfast Sunday before the university-wide graduation on the Lawn. Because of this financial support, students are able to bring an unlimited number of guests to the catered reception at the Law School. Lastly, the dues help purchase each graduating student’s cap, gown, and hood.

These events are actually quite expensive and we are responsible to pay a portion of the overall cost. We have been working with the Law School Foundation and members of the administration to come up with ways to keep costs down this year. The result is that we are able to maintain the same dues charged in years past.

In addition to funding graduation weekend events, our dues pay for 3L events throughout the year. For example, this week, we will host a 3L Bonfire at Montfair Farms that is open to every 3L student. We’ll be providing transportation to the event and refreshments for students attending the bonfire. Next semester, we will host several more 3L events including a wine tasting tour, golf tournament, and a reception accompanying the Class Charge. In conjunction with NGSL, we’ll also host the 3L Softball Tournament and provide plots and refreshments for 3Ls at Spring Foxfield.

As we stated in our initial email to the 3L class, students who do not plan on attending graduation do not have to pay dues.

We understand that $55 is a lot of money and we are sensitive to the fact that students feel stretched financially right now. However, we also know that 3L graduation events are something that UVA Law students have grown to expect and look forward to. We take this responsibility seriously and have done our best to put together an enjoyable (and memorable) 3L graduation experience. If you have any further questions, please feel free to email us. Thank you.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why not just charge money for these events individually? That way those receiving the benefits would be paying the costs instead of spreading it around to everyone. It also would cut down on costs by accurately predicting attendance at these events instead of just assuming X # of 3Ls would participate.

Anonymous said...

When did this start? I don't remember paying this at all.

- Class of 2005

Anonymous said...

I strongly support the idea of paying per event. $55 just to attend one event is quite high. This plan also means those without guests will subsidize those who come with many guests. Why not just charge per person? The fairness problem here seems to overwhelm the convenience of not having to pay for the banquet.

Anonymous said...

You are NOT required to pay dues to attend graduation. If you have any doubts, just email the head of the law school foundation . . . she'll say that you are allowed to attend graduation whether you pay class dues or not.

Also, Darden has similar events for their graduating class and they charge individually for each event.

Anonymous said...

I feel like I paid about the same amount in undergrad just for a cap and gown.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Class of 2005, this certainly didn't happen when I graduated pre-2000, and what is it with the purchasing of hoods and gowns, do graduates keep them now? When I graduated it was a lender.

We did pay a fee for a class gift (or tax as some students described it), I'm not sure this is the same thing.

I am sure of this, I don't like the direction the law school is going. Today's students don't have the employment opportunities my classmates and I enjoyed, yet they pay nearly double the tuition. How long can this last?

Anonymous said...

5:41-You do not get to keep your gown or hood, so it would appear there is absolutely no justification for the fee.

Anonymous said...

How long can this last?

5:41 PM

Not very. Loan defaults are going to hit the economy really hard soon, I suspect.

Anonymous said...

Know what else is "quite expensive"? UVA Law tuition. Know what is ever-increasingly less remunerative? UVA Law degree.

Anonymous said...

If you think paying grad dues is required to attend graduation, email the law school's Director of Donor Relations and and Young Alumni Development (ltp5s) and ask the question. I guarantee she'll tell you no.

Anonymous said...

Really? Y'all are bitching about $55? Our 1L section dues were almost that much, and one can easily spend that much on a nice dinner or a couple nights out. It's about a tenth of a percent of tuition (which, yeah, might be too high, but a story for another time...)

Anyway, seems to me the convenience of paying one (actually fairly low) fee outweighs trying to come up with a specific per-event fee (which, in the case of something like the bonfire, is probably quite low and hardly worth charging as an a la carte item).

Sure times are hard. But it's $55, not $500 or $5000. Chill.

Anonymous said...

11:42 = typical NGSL degenerate who wants all students, particualrly those with no interest in attending these events, to subsidize his social schedule and alcoholism.

Anonymous said...

I want my dues back! I never would've paid them if I didn't think they were mandatory. What an enormous fucking racket this law school is. Biggest mistake I ever made.

- '09

Anonymous said...

"[W]e also know that 3L graduation events are something that UVA Law students have grown to expect and look forward to."

Not sure about anyone else, but as a 3L, I don't "expect and look forward to" a bonfire, golf tournament, softball tournament, or wine tasting. What percentage of the 3L class even plays golf or softball?

Anonymous said...

How many people are in a class? About 300? That's over $16,000. Even assuming everything is paid for entirely out of these "dues" and not from the thousands of dollars in fees that are tacked onto tuition, is all of this money really going to buses and brunches?

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