Letters to the Editor: Students deserve respect

Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t we, the students, pay to attend Georgia Southern University? I vividly recall telling my parents that they owed the school money, even after HOPE took care of a portion of my tuition. And yet, despite the fact that I am paying to go to school here, university employees often treat me as if I’m some whiney teenager.

When I was in high school, I can remember being ignored by salespeople or customer service representatives simply because I didn’t look old enough to be a mature person who was likely to spend much money. When you’re in high school, people automatically assume you’re the stereotypical teenager—irresponsible, immature and broke. I put up with that treatment a lot in high school, but I’m a junior in college now. The stereotyping should’ve ended long ago.

Just last Friday, I dealt with the Parking and Transportation office regarding a parking ticket that was the result of a mistake. The woman I interacted with was abrupt and condescending. She treated me as I had committed some sort of heinous crime against society, even as I handed her my MasterCard. I was polite to her, despite being upset at having to pay a $30 ticket. It was a disturbing case of déjà vu; immediately, I felt as if was right back in high school. Her attitude towards me was one of annoyance and irritation, as if it was an inconvenience for her to have to examine my ticket and then accept my credit card payment.

Other employees of the university sometimes behave in a similar fashion. Secretaries, receptionists at the health clinic, my financial aid advisor—they all seem to assume that I’m just another one of those party-and-drink-all-the-time students and act as if I am some aggravation that they’re forced to deal with.

I’m tired of being treated as if I’m immature, irresponsible, and broke by GSU staff. I am a good student who is polite, respectful and hard-working. My tuition and the tuition of my fellow classmates likely helps fund the salaries of people like the woman who works in the P&T office. I’m not here on some joyride. I’m here because I worked diligently to get accepted and because my parents pay for me to attend this university. Employees of the school should not treat me as if I am some number in a computer or some pesky kid. They are the salesperson, and I am the customer. They should be striving to ensure that I am satisfied with the “product” I’m paying for, not treating me like the stereotype they’ve fabricated in their mind

I’m an adult at one of the greatest universities in the nation. Treat me like I am.

Emma Rose Collins

Junior marketing major from Lincolnton