Rose Richard:Fee to be you and me

When I was in Korea, I had no access to banking as Americans know it. The only way I could check my balance was to spend a lot of money on an international phone call (or use an international ATM) and figure my balance to dollars from won. Since I had no access to my statement, I didn’t know my bank had charged me nearly $80 in extra fees. Yes, corporate America owed me money.

Once I’d figured this out (after bouncing like, a million checks) someone graciously helped me rectify the error.

However, on my next statement, there were still errors, totaling nearly $20. The next phone teller was not nearly so gracious. She acted like she was doing me a huge favor by giving me money that was mine the whole time.

Now, when I screw up at the bank I have to pay all sorts of fees: over-limit fees, overdraft charges, seeing a human teller, breathing the bank’s oxygen, etc. However, when my bank screws up, I can’t charge them any fees. I’m, like, totally into introducing legislation that makes the bank pay me five bucks and admit they screwed up.

Speaking of fees, you are paying them right here at PSU. Your fees pay for lots of good things, like building maintenance and the computers in the library that non-students use to look at porn.

If you log into the PSU information system, you can look at your entire account summary for your complete duration of study here. It’s almost interesting.

For instance, I have a matriculation fee, a fee for applying to graduate, and something that is called an APPF Application Fee. I have no idea what these things are, why I am being charged for them, or when I got charged for them.

You see, all your charges are arranged in the alphabetical order of the code under which that particular charge falls. There is no magical key to unlock these codes, and I don’t have time to go to Neuberger Hall and try to figure out why my Korea Studies Scholarship was credited to this term and not last, when I really needed it.

So, I decided I am going to submit invoices to PSU every term, including a summary of back owed fees for various tortures I’ve suffered here.

The first fee I’m charging is what I like to call the Advising/Degree Requirements Non-Communication Fee. The purpose of this fee is to express my disgust that one office tells me I’m ready to graduate, and the other (more important degree-conferring office) tells me I’m not. I’m going to charge so much for this one that the university will finally decide it would be cheaper to just make them the same office so people can actually figure out exactly when they are going to graduate without a bunch of heartbreaking trips to the degree requirements office.

The next fee I’m charging is the Post-University-Studies Stress Disorder Fee. Funds from this fee will go to doing a study of the true efficacy of the University Studies program since its inception. Oddly, this hasn’t been done before, and if it has, no one bothered to tell me. But I am truly interested in knowing how many people benefited from University Studies and were able to use it in the real world. And, who cares about U.S. News and World Report rankings? We all know they don’t reflect real life.

The next fee I would like to charge is the Freshman Transition Fee. This is more of a punitive fee, to teach the freshmen to behave like adults. This year I noticed how shockingly self-confident they were. Sure, they have a four-year buffer between them and Final Reality, but don’t they at least have an inkling of how awful things will be come graduation? And why can’t they get out of my way in the food court? Also, I am concerned at how Britney Spears seems to be fashion inspiration for some freshman girls. Ladies, it is the time to learn sexual responsibility! The ’80s ended before you were born!

Which makes me old. At any rate, I am having my accountant crunch the numbers, and I’ll pay dearly for that, I’m sure. Or, I can just pass on the costs to you, in the form of a Rose Maintenance Fee.