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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Think they're just like you? Think again.

The Republican Party has always prided itself on standing up for "the little guy," despite the fact that their policies have always been heavily tilted towards the rich (i.e., themselves). The College Republicans are no exception, and it doesn't take much research to see how this plays out at SLU. In the past, the SLU GOP has been very defensive about the notion that their ranks are swelled replete with predominately wealthy students, and love to point out and tokenize the few exceptions to the rule. Despite this, when you look at some of their personal backgrounds, its not hard to see that maybe they aren't all just like you and me. Let's look at a few examples.

Former President of the SLU GOP, Elizabeth A. Wardell, is no stranger to the comforts of wealth. Residing in beatiful Saratoga Springs, NY, Liz drives a new model Audi, with Saratoga vanity plates that read "SLU 2004." (No, she didn't technically graduate with the class of '04, but she's hoping to graduate at the end of this semester.) Liz's father, William Wardell, runs his own business, and is a registered member of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association. Think they lobby President-select ManOrMonkey? You bet. And, her sister, Alicia, a Dartmouth alumna, is the Deputy Mayor of Saratoga Springs.

What's that? You have a Deputy Mayor in your family, your father runs his own business, and you drive a new model Audi with vanity plates? Well, then consider the prominently-feature-on-TBOC Jake Shea, who hails from the wonderful, white, and wealthy town of Kennebunk, Maine. His parents, Stephen and Linda, are business owners too, and in 2003, according to town records, posted $357,200 in just taxable income. Keep in mind that taxable income makes up only a portion of total net wealth.

Still not that far from your own financial situation? Well, that means you're probably a member of the SLU GOP. But let's just do one or two more examples--you know, for fun.

Pete Snedeker, also the President of Thelmo, most likely ranks among the top 5% (or possibly even 1%) of the entire national income spectrum. That's because his father, James P. Snedeker, a SLU alum, is the Senior Vice President of Marsh USA, one of the world's foremost risk insurers, a subsidiary of Marsh & McLellan Companies Inc. Never heard of them before? Neither had we. Turns out they rank #169 on the list of Fortune 500 companies, and are still moving up. Just last year they posted annual revenues of $11.588 billion. Part of Marsh's big bucks come from helping employers figure out how to "cut costs" (read: not pay) in workers compensation.

There's also some CEOs in the mix too. There is, for instance, Mike "informer" Wieneke (who may bring SLU's conservative kingdom crashing down with him, it seems.) Mike's father, Daniel Wieneke, is President & CEO of PARC, the Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corporation, and makes $150,000 per year in income alone.

But guess what? These are just a small handful of examples. Even some of the less prominent figures among the SLU GOP, like Alicia "Lazy Blacks" McNally (whose father actually complained about SLU celebrating Martin Luther King Day--apparently blatant racism runs in the family), come from exceptionally wealthy areas such as Granby, Connecticut, which has a median household income of over $80,000--twice the national median--and a median family income over over $90,000.

So the next time you hear about how they're just like you and me, and aren't all rich kids, remember: the SLURs may not all be rich, but can you think of any other organizations on campus that have as many, if any? Did you have a nanny, a CEO for a parent, attend a prep school/academy instead of public school, or have a membership at a country club or a yacht club growing up? We figure most of you didn't.

Food for thought.

5 Comments:

  • Wow, You are perhaps the single most ignorant person I have ever heard of. Apparently you couldn't get off your high horse for long enough to realize that some one with rich parents is not necessarily rich themselves. I don't know about you, but most people in college are considered adults--independent of their parents. But how did these people afford such nice things? Maybe they borrowed the money? Well I don't really care since other peoples financial situation, and that of their parents, mind you, is NONE OF MY BUSINESS. Notice how much of your article you spend talking about the people THEMSELVES, and not their families (I'll give you a hint to save you counting: its about five lines). I AM ASHAMED that someone as uneducated as you attends this university and I hope everyone else who reads your article is as ashamed as I.
    PS: Perhaps you should discuss your opinion with members of SLU GOP and not post it on some stupid forum so you and your pals can read it and laugh.

    By Blogger Shockedandashamed, at 1:23 AM  

  • PSS: I enjoy your use of insulting epithets to get your point across. It really makes you seem like the adult that you are.

    By Blogger Shockedandashamed, at 1:25 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger collars_down, at 4:14 AM  

  • Dear Shockedandashamed,

    You're right. I don't know where their money comes from. Maybe they "borrowed" their fortunes, as you so speciously suggested. Or maybe it all fell from the sky and simply happened to land in vastly larger concentrations on members of the SLU GOP than on anyone else. Or, maybe--just maybe--it really does come from their parents; but that's just a guess. Which scenario sounds the most plausible to you? As you may already have concluded, I'm banking on mom and dad.

    This said, being the uneducated peon that I am, I couldn't help but notice the multiple grammatical errors in your comment (I'll give you a hint to save you counting: it's--ironically--about five). And incidentally, when you say "nice things," to what are you referring? I made no such mention of any "nice things" in my article. If I had to wager a guess, though, I'd say "nice things" in all likelihood refers to German vibrators modeled after certain aquatic mammals, or, as I suggested in another recent article, a certain Schedule 1 narcotic. Then again, that too is just a guess. But of course, as you already pointed out, that's none of my business.

    Hugs and kisses,

    By Blogger collars_down, at 4:21 AM  

  • Dear Collars_Down,

    Pardon my five gramatical mistakes in my previous posting. When I called you uneducated, I was not referring to your writing ability, but to your ingnorance concerning the issue at hand. I bet that I could write a similar article about certain members of SLU democrats. Does this mean that all members of SLU democrats are rich? No. It means that a large portion of St. Lawrence students come from wealthy backgrounds. With tuition approaching forty thousand dollars a year, it is no suprise that our student body is partially composed of the wealthy. To quote you:

    "His parents, Stephen and Linda..posted $357,200 in just taxable income. Still not that far from your own financial situation? Well, that means you're probably a member of the SLU GOP."

    When you say this, you are implying that SLU GOP represents the majority of the wealthy students on campus. This is simply not true.

    When you say that Liz Wardell and Jake Shea "aren't all just like you and me" you are wrong. Wealth does not define who you are. Perhaps if you were not so caught up in researching the financial records of the SLU republicans, you could see that. Also, is your goal for us all to be the same? Thats what it seems like to me.

    PS, I am sorry for the typo on the PPS, not all of us type perfectly ALL the time.

    PPS, I like how you attacked the typo instead of answering to your childish insults.

    Sincerely,

    ShockedandAshamed

    By Blogger Shockedandashamed, at 2:54 PM  

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