Now we know where New Jersians loyalty lies: A Nobel Laureate is less beloved to them than a pint-sized reality star.
Rutgers University broke with long-standing tradition earlier this month when it announced that, for the first time, it would pay for a commencement speaker, in this case Nobel- and Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. Her fee: $30,000.
Last night, Rutgers played host to a speaker of a different sort: Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi of the reality show "Jersey Shore." At the request of the Rutgers University Programming Association, Polizzi appeared at two Q&As with the university's student body, during which she led a lesson in fist-pumping and advised students to "study hard, but party harder." Her fee: $32,000.
The disparity has created a scandal of minor embarrassment at New Jersey's public university. "Such a waste of my money. If I want to listen to someone talk, they should have something intelligent to say," freshman Dan Oliveto told The Star-Ledger.
Though Rutgers students may shy from the attention that comes from fulfilling negative stereotypes about New Jersey, Metro advises them instead to go all the way with it. Why not start offering courses in the ethics of obnoxious accessorizing, the physics of hair gel, and the linguistics behind "Boardwalk Patois"? (via The Star-Ledger)