As a soon-to-be graduate, I feel pressure to give back to the Duke community, and I have started to consider ways in which I might leave my lasting impact here. Duke currently encourages just this with the Senior Giving Challenge, which enables seniors to make financial donations to the programs at Duke that they find important. That said, the Senior Giving Challenge is not inclusive of those students who are uncomfortable with making monetary donations, and it ought to promote alternative methods by which students can give back. The following steps might be taken to not only improve Duke but also America's future students.
The children of elite individuals almost always remain elite, and this issue plagues our country. Top sociologists agree that the elitism perpetuated by top universities restricts social mobility. The Senior Giving Challenge proposes a unique problem in its reliance on wealthy students, which will inevitably perpetuate socioeconomic inequality between classes. So, how might we increase donations towards Duke whilst simultaneously promoting social mobility?
With what I have coined the "Future Children of Duke" challenge, I believe we can solve these problems concurrently. The FuCDuke challenge encourages seniors to pledge percentages of their children’s future earnings to Duke. The higher the percentage of your child's income you pledge, the higher tier of donor you’ll be. Of course, there will be incentives to participate in this program. The prestigious "Diamond Duke" donor tier, for instance, requiring 90% of your child’s income pledged, will allow its members to participate in a ticket raffle for a seat at the UNC-Duke game!
The $280,000 we’ve each paid in tuition is clearly insufficient; students must be more appreciative of the opportunities that Duke gives them. The FuCDuke challenge will solve the country's social mobility crisis, encourage the elite to pay back their fair share, and better Duke’s future.
I implore our administration to consider implementing the FuCDuke program to build a brighter future and a brighter Duke University.
Alfred Mordecai is a Trinity senior.
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