Pass and don’t collect $200

Today’s most emailed story on the Times website is about a group I wish wasn’t getting so much press. However, as of last week when I first heard about the website, I calculated that I could illegally and unethically make about $200 by audiorecording lectures/discussions and providing detailed class notes for a right-wing group known as the Bruin Alumni.

I know I’m adding to everything else that’s been said on blogs and in the news, but I feel like I have more insight based on my current position as an alumna, current grad student and member of the real alumni association board. As a current graduate student and former Chicana/o Studies and Sociology major, I’ve taken or am taking classes with 8 of the faculty on the targeted list (no longer on the website) and the “dirty thirty” list. If I wanted to, which I don’t, I could sell notes and materials to a fellow alum I couldn’t stand as an undergraduate. Back then, Andrew Jones, the president of the Bruin Alumni, yelled “hate me because I hate you!” to a large group of students during a peaceful gathering to listen to campus elections results. He was later terminated as a columnist for the Daily Bruin as a result of his actions that night.

I’ll pass on the $200 even if I could use it to buy new shoes or pay for books assigned for courses with “radical professors.” I’d rather not spy on some of my favorite and most-respected professors, advisors, and potential dissertation committee members. Plus, I’m pretty sure it’s bad etiquette to spy on a professor who wrote you a fabulous letter of recommendation.