In an attempt to increase competitiveness and support expanding demands for capital, Drexel’s administration has begun using a new app that targets areas for the University to levy fees, termed “impositions,” on the student body. Planned to be enacted in the 2016-2017 academic year, proposed tariffs include a cover charge for the Handschumacher Dining Center, contactless payment devices installed for washers and dryers in dormitories, and fines for class absences.
“These special impositions may be small, but they collectively make an impact,” Drexel Administrator Curtis Bapplebaulm said. “We believe that this principle reflects our university’s character in being relatively small, compared to our neighbors such as Temple or UPenn, but still giving students bang for their measly buck. Sure, our students may feel embarrassed at first for paying a meagre $5 or $6 for doing their laundry, but trust us, we’re definitely planning on increasing prices to raise their morale.”
The app, Folly, was designed by College of Engineering alumnus Christian Graay. When reached via email for comment, Graay replied: “Why did I do it? same [sic] reason any millennial worth their salt does anything these days — FOR THE VINE.”
Graay first debuted Folly on video-sharing social network Vine as a personal app to help young adults decide how to squander their extra money. To date, his video has garnered close to 15,000,000 views, and it even scored him an invitation to appear on reality television series “Shark’s Den,” although he turned down the offer. Within two months of the video’s debut, Folly became the most-downloaded paid app for both Apple and Android platforms.
Although details of how the current version of the app works were always hidden from the public, it has now been removed from the App Store and Google Play entirely. An investigation by The Rectangle found that the University’s version of Folly collects demographic data, such as how often students frequent the library, do their laundry or hit on chicks, and increases fees for such incidents accordingly, similar to the surge pricing used by other apps such as Uber or Lyft. It also appears that payments are to be made by DragonCard.
A statement from the Office of the Provost read, “This initiative is intended to fund future projects such as real estate development and other big shiny objects, and is in no way to be used for academic purposes. We believe these special impositions will show the world Drexel’s true principles, namely that our students are the best, want the best, and are willing to pay through their collective nose for only the best.”
Student opinion seems to be sharply divided on the matter. Electrical engineering sophomore Tania Shwain said, “I can’t believe that after I paid $50 to apply to this school, they’re planning on taking away even more of my hard-earned, fought-tooth-and-nail-to-get-that-paid-co-op cash. I even have to pay to get a new DragonCard, which I’ll need to pay these new fees with! Man! I feel truly shafted.”
Other students, mostly juniors and seniors, were more positive about this announcement. “It’s high time Drexel stepped up its game when it comes to screwing students over. I was finding it hard to one-up my friends at Penn and Rutgers with being screwed,” screenwriting senior Carmel San Diogo said. “I’ve never had more school spirit in my liiife!” she continued, before clutching fistfuls of her hair and sprinting off.
“I think it’s commendable that a Drexel student is using her skills to help better this community,” biology junior Schaden Freude said. “I’m not upset about the costs,” he said, noting he was only sorry he wouldn’t be a student at Drexel very much longer to contribute to these funds.