Hey Doogie…take a look at this.

Devi, that’s the Peak…you know that I don’t read that kind of stuff. Do you realize how many trees are killed each year for this rag?

But Doogie, I've seen you pick up copies of the Peak.

Sure...but only to line the bottom of my birdcage at home.

Oh yeah, me too. But anyway, take a look at this article:

(Groan)…not the SFSS again! What are those meddlers up to now?

Well, Doogie…it seems that the SFSS doesn’t like the idea of having credit card companies on campus.

Yeah, …what’s it to them? I think a lot of people don’t like the idea of the SFSS on campus, but they're still here.

Shame on you Doogie. Don’t you know that the SFSS is here on campus to protect student rights?

I forgot. So let me get this straight ... they plan to protect students by making it harder to obtain credit cards on campus? What’s with these people? And how do they plan to do this anyway?

Well, apparently, credit card vendors have to pay a fee to the SFSS for the right to sell credit cards on campus.

Since when has the SFSS had the right to extort fees from vendors on campus?

I have no idea. But up until recently the SFSS charged credit card vendors $65 a day. According to this article, they just upped the fee to $1000 per day. And listen to this:

“Since the [fee] increase, there have been no credit card vendors on campus, said BL, a coordinator at the student society’s general office. BL believes that this is due to the unexpected increase in their vendor fees.”

Gee, Devi…this BL fellow sounds like one sharp tack. I would have been inclined to blame the bad weather we’ve been having…what else does the article say?

Well, listen to this:

“CG, [SFSS president] says that he would have preferred banning credit card vendors altogether, but he now believes that the increased fee plan is an effective alternative. ‘This makes more sense. The $1000 number adequately reflects the damage that irresponsible lending has had,’ he said.”

Does el presidente not believe that SFU students can think for themselves when it comes to their own financial matters? Who does he think he is? And why do you think he changed his tune from an outright ban to a $1000 fee?

Doogie, it seems clear that the fundamental premise of the SFSS is that students are idiots who cannot think for themselves or take responsibility for their own actions; and that the business community consists of vultures preying on the innocent. This is why he highlights “irresponsible lending” (whatever this is). Of course, he can't come right out and call students idiots by suggesting “irresponsible borrowing.” And I think I have a pretty good idea why he changed his tune. The SFSS collects the $1000 fee. I think El Presidente might have been lured by the prospect of $$$.

And what happens to the money that is collected?

Apparently, 80% of the money collected will be dedicated to the existing Student Society Bursary.

I wonder which students get access to that bursary? Probably the ones that really "need" it (determined by el Presidente's flawless and benevolent judgement, no doubt). I wonder if the money will be used to help out students who have allegedly been “duped” by credit card companies? And what happens to the other 20%?

The article doesn’t say, Doogie. If I had to guess, I’d say that the money will likely be spent by the power brokers at the SFSS on their many pet projects.

I don’t think so, Devi. Since there are no longer any credit card vendors on campus, the fees that the SFSS has been collecting will disappear altogether.

Gee Doogie, that’s right. But do you think that this SFSS policy will actually prevent students from obtaining a credit card?

Of course not, Devi. Thankfully, students still have the right to contract with credit card companies off campus. At least for now. I’m sure that the SFSS is working on a way to prevent this as well.

Not just the SFSS, Doogie. Listen to what an SFU coordinator with the student development and programming center has to say on this matter:

“Make it as hard as possible,” she urged. “I guess that students do need credit cards, but we shouldn’t be encouraging them with more debt, more debt, more debt!”

Let me get this right, get this right, get this right, Devi. This administrator is claiming that while students find credit cards convenient (like the rest of us), she agrees with a policy that makes it more difficult for students to obtain them? What is wrong with debt anyway? I've borrowed money to buy cars, houses, and an education. Devi, do these people not realize that borrowing and lending is a way to smooth consumption across time? Do they have any idea what life would be like if we couldn't do this?

I don't think they've given it much thought Doogie. They don't make much sense, do they?

That’s not the type of sense we use out in the valley, Devi. In the valley, we make the absurd assumption that university students are adults, capable of making decisions on their own, and capable of living up to the responsibility of such decisions. If the university has any role to play in such matters, it would simply be to facilitate the spread of information that would help students make more informed decisions. When someone is 6 years old parents often restrict their choices for their own good, but I don't think the SFSS should be playing parents to adults.

That’s such a radical concept, Doogie. By the way, do you think that any of the above mentioned people have credit cards?

I doubt it Devi. Would you give them credit for anything?

I think we should give them credit for looking down on students as dumb kids that need their lives controlled by their "wiser" paternalistic brethren occupying positions of power at the SFSS office. What do you think?

Devi, I think that I'd like to nominate the SFSS for our prestigious father knows best award!