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I disagree with columnist Alec Webley’s proposition to increase the general fee to cover club funding (“Thinking past the crisis,” 1/27/2011). It would only cause more financial strain among families paying for Penn’s tuition.

Penn already charges usage fees for the gym and lab courses whether or not a student ever uses either of them in his or her four years at college. I consider this to be unfair. More to the point, how is requiring Penn students to subsidize the activities of clubs they may never use — or necessarily support — a fair use of tuition?

Some clubs, such as the International Affairs Association, run entirely independent of funding from the Student Activities Council because they earn all the money they need from their own programs. If a club really needs money, and the participants are truly passionate about the club’s cause, they should be creative and aggressive when it comes to raising funds. Many performance arts clubs, for example, could simply charge a few more dollars for ticket prices to their shows.

Going to a school like Penn is a privilege, and students should not get handouts for everything. If Webley’s idea is enacted, it would be Penn that is paying for the club subsidies in many cases, as a substantial portion of Penn students receive financial assistance. Rather than increasing tuition, we should put the financial responsibility on SAC and the clubs themselves while we strengthen the criteria for receiving reimbursements for purchases.

-- MATTHEW CORREIA The author is a College junior.

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