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Receiving free tuition should require talent

Feb. 2, 2001

After three years at Baylor, I have now witnessed the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen.

Baylor gave away a semester's worth of tuition to one lucky student at the game Wednesday night. Bruiser the Bear selected five lucky students to come down to the floor of the Ferrell Center. You would think that if Baylor's going to give away a free semester, the students competing for it would have to do something somewhat significant, like make a shot from the half-court line. But all these students have to do is dance around on the court to 'NSYNC's Bye Bye Bye, and, if the audience deems them the winner, they've got a free ride at Baylor for a semester.

Now I didn't immediately see a problem with this. In fact, it seems like a pretty good way to try to boost attendance at the games. Offering free tuition too many more times will have the entire student body -- more than 12,000 people -- knocking down the doors at the Ferrell Center.

But the way that Baylor determined the winner was totally ridiculous! After all five contestants performed, the audience had the chance to applaud for the contestants one by one. But the guy that got the most applause probably did the least to actually deserve the money. The others actually knew the dance moves for the song, and while none of them were that great, they all deserved more than the winner. The winner didn't dance or show any real talent, just his ability to roll around like a beach ball on the floor.

I'm lazy sometimes, but if I knew all I had to do to win $5,000 was roll around on the Ferrell Center's court, I would have been there in a second. If Baylor's going to be giving out free tuition like that, make sure that the contestants at least have to earn it. Have them do something that requires some real talent and skill. And then, have a panel of adults vote on the winner, not the students' peers, who are going to just vote for their friends.

I work too hard to pay my bills and my parents work to hard to keep me at Baylor. And attending Baylor should be worth more than a roll around the Ferrell Center court.