Will You Give?

By Alex Swanson

Of course I’ll give! Oh my god, the thought of not giving just horrifies me. Knowing that out there something that so desperately needs our help is suffering because we don’t devote a small piece of our privilege, oh my the thought is unbearable. Why can’t we ever look past our own prejudices on campus, rally, and use our unfair advantage in life for a fair cause!
It’s our duty as true Ivy Leaguers to give. Not doing so is sadism. We watch, clothed in privileged indifference, as those who don’t possess our riches suffer: we go to Mel’s when some have to suffer 1020, we have complete control over the AUX cord when others have to Uber pool, we drink Miller Highlife while others have to settle for Kirkland Light. It ends here! When are people going to get #woke? When will we check our collective privilege? The world needs equality, and we must give to ensure that equality begins to take place.
Let’s get on Low Steps now, let’s start a riot on a class page, comment “^this” on comments we glance over briefly and think we agree with but can’t be bothered to consider properly, steal cardboard somewhere and a megaphone and chant incoherently. The sun’s out too so it will be even better for us. Let’s write a Spec oped and assassinate dissenting viewpoints in the comments section! Let’s pick on marching band members! Let’s break into Low! The message will get out, don’t worry. Soon everyone will give to this noble cause. Gone are the days of past injury and suffering; I’m here to help.
And I know what you’re thinking. If I do seem like quite the upstanding citizen, it’s because I am. You can read all about in my Common App. I care about people; I care about doing my part in this community. I want to help those who aren’t as fortunate as me, and I want people to follow my example. That’s why I’m running to be on Student Council. It’s as simple as this: I’m a giver. I give it all and I take nothing. Just ask my girlfriend. I always tip at least 10% on cab fares, I blackout gave the remnants of my Koronet’s to the homeless one time, and I usually always contribute in class. Think of me as a Robin Hood of sorts, taking from those who don’t need their wealth and giving to those who do.
So, considering the blight at hand: let’s strike it away! I will give to your just cause; I will give and get everyone I know to give. We will solve the problem as a team using everything at our disposal. And people will know our selflessness. Hell, maybe I can even put this on my resume. (I’m sure Goldman will love it). But more importantly, we will help the helpless. The giving starts now. How much would Columbia University in the City of New York like me to donate?


By David Alexan

Nope. Not interested. You’re sweet to waste your time doing this, going around acting like a heroic troubadour singing the woes of the weak, but you’re also stupid. The world has winners and losers; it’s as simple as that. Aristotle knew it. Others on the CC syllabus I didn’t read knew it too. Capitalism prevails. The strong get rich and the weak get to cling on to socialism. You should embrace my way of life and you’ll do better. Trust me.
Besides, if I help you out how are you going to help yourself? Charity is fallacy, a last-ditch mirage for those stupid enough not to take Econ growing up. I sweat into my $40/hour at McKinsey, and I have a right to the rewards. It’s incentive. And, just in case you didn’t realize, incentive breeds willingness to work. Bingo, that’s how the economy works. I won’t risk the financial security of my beloved nation over some warped view of distorted morality. It’s not right and it’s not natural.
And if I help you, who’s not to say that every loser on campus won’t come up to me and start prattling on about justice. It’ll be just like running the gauntlet between my apartment and class with those charity freaks insidiously sequestering money from innocent passers-by. God, each encounter is traumatic: they dress in horrendous, bright rain gear, carry clipboards for no reason as no one ever signs up, and then, worst of all, they stare at you like a wide-eyed narcoleptic with basilisk gaze, trying to petrify you with menacingly friendly hellos and direct questions about your willingness to help. I mean, leave me alone! Can a citizen not walk in peace in this city?
What if I just want to indulge myself. My apartment is messy, my loafers need resoling, a few of my French collars need a press, it rained while I was wearing suede, International just got in McCallan 18, I need some petty cash for my numerous Tinder rendezvouses this weekend—don’t worry, I’m not one for waste: strictly Prosecco, no Champagne—and, I don’t know, I just like to carry a few hundos in my

Illustration by Kristine Dunn

wallet so that people can see them. Is that too much to ask?
By my reasoning it isn’t, and you’re not going to let me feel bad about this. To condense and repeat my expert economics from earlier: my money, my rules. The only thing I’d remotely consider giving money to is a hedge fund. Or maybe actually a trust fund.
I’m being selfish, aren’t I. My god, I get it now! I think I may see why this world needs givers, people like me. How else are my children going to end up like their old man?! No, I will give my money, I will give it all away. But not now; now is my me-time. I still care little for your institution or your “values.” However, as my son (it will be a son) fills out, or rather as his tutor fills out, the last few pages of his Columbia app, then, good sir, I shall ask: “how much would Columbia University in the City of New York like me to donate?”w

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