Painting the real financial portrait of students at the University

Although Ryan Weber’s article, “Remember UI’s financial diversity” made strong points about financial independence, he also made unfair assumptions. Weber wrote, “ … but generally, the majority of students here are from middle to upper-middle class white families from the Chicago suburbs who have never seriously thought about money.” This is an unfair assessment of the student body, as I’m sure Weber has not met the “majority” of these white students from the suburbs and studied their financial situations. This assumption is offensive and unnecessary. Just because it is trendy to wear The North Face jackets and TOMS shoes, Weber lacks the insight that perhaps these students with higher end clothing purchased it themselves.

I took offense to Weber’s article as I come from a middle class, white family in the Chicago suburbs who cannot identify with Weber’s unfair assumptions. Money has always been of great concern to me due to financial hardships. I have held a job on campus, as well as a summer job, to attempt to gain some financial independence of my own. I own “nice” things that I purchased for myself, but in no way do these material possessions depict the story of my financial background. I personally know other “white families from the Chicago suburbs” who identify with similar situations. What does race have to do with this anyway? According to the Department of Numbers, statistics show that 8 percent of Caucasians have faced unemployment as of September 2011 while 16 percent of African Americans and 7.8 percent of Asians have faced the same. If Weber wants to argue race, he should boast about how Asians on campus are wealthy since he made the same generalization about the University’s white population.

Weber’s article may touch on some fantastic points about financial independence, but he needs to take his own advice and brush up on his understanding of U of I’s financial diversity.

*Dana Bronstein,*

senior in ACES