Senate's Honey Boo-boo comparison misleading
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 00:02
Just yesterday I saw the new poster advertising the deadline for Student Senate scholarships. On the poster was a portrait of “Honey Boo-Boo,” the famous country girl from TLC who will “holler for a dollar.”
Beside the poster was this infamous quote followed by a statement which expressed the monetary value of a Student Senate scholarship, implying that they will make you holler.
I will admit, I first chuckled at the poster. I don’t know if it was because I couldn’t believe that Honey Boo-Boo had now made her way onto small-scale advertisements or something else. But then I began to realize that this may imply that scholarships will make us holler. And then thought to myself wait, does this mean that students on scholarship are like Honey Boo-Boo? Do they holler for a dollar? And then I remembered that I was one of those students on scholarship.
I’m sure the intentions of the poster were pure, and that their creator was just trying to find a funny way to advertise Student Senate scholarships. However, I’m disappointed at the humor and what the poster connotes.
Students on scholarship are not Honey Boo-Boo. Mainstream culture has labeled her as a trashy little girl who makes some laugh, and others feel deeply disturbed. We see her as classless, poor, and at the bottom of the social pyramid because she lacks education and refinement.
Honey Boo-Boo may holler for a dollar, but students on scholarship, whether academic or through financial aid, do not holler for money. We work our tails off for it.
In fact, about 80 percent of SMU students receive some sort of financial aid from the university, and all of us only pay about 70 percent of the actual cost of our tuition.
Therefore, everyone on this campus is, in some way, receiving aid of some sort to attend this university. And needing a little bit more should not make anyone feel ashamed.
I’ll be quite honest: had I not received merit scholarships I would not be at this university. My family is in that awkward tax bracket where we cannot receive government aid, but also cannot realistically afford a tuition cost nearing the $50 thousand mark. Furthermore, my family would not have gone into debt to send me to SMU when I could have gone to LSU free of charge.
I am fortunate to be here, but I worked hard to secure my place at this school.
For many students, the senate scholarship could keep them at SMU. And none of them are the Honey Boo-Boos of this world.
They are first generation college students who have worked their way to the top. They are students whose family business may have gone under in the last fiscal year, and their parents can no longer keep up with the rising cost of private school tuition. They are students whose parents may just want them to personally support their college experience.
They are not trashy or classless or uneducated. They are some of the hardest workers at this university.
So when you see the ad, laugh a little, but also realize that scholarships are not shameful tokens, but trophies of accomplishment.
Graves is a junior majoring in communication studies and religious studies.