Money Problems: What Elks Is New?
Daily Herald #18
"Money Problems: What Elks Is New?"
by Eric D. Snider
Published in The Daily Herald on February 6, 1993
It's pretty late, and I'm in no mood to write a snappy introduction, so you'll have to bear with me.
I was going through my mail a few minutes ago when I came across a letter from the Office of Student Housing, here at good ol' BYU. I live in Deseret Towers (motto: "Offering the Convenience of Two Elevators, One of Which is Always Broken"), so I'm always getting letters from the Office of Student Housing. They're usually asking me if I want to live here next semester (I don't), or if I have suggestions about how to make things better (fix the elevator), or if I intend to come back to DT after my mission (no, sorry, I have a life).
But the letter I just got was not this kind of friendly, chatty, form letter. No sir, this was a personalized Letter of Wrath. Apparently, my account is $206 overdue, and, oddly enough, they would like me to pay it.
Lest you think I am a deadbeat, I should point out that this is all due to a mistake on the part of the National Elks Lodge. They somehow got it into their heads to pay for my college education, goodness knows why, but they have neglected to send one of the major chunks of cash.
Those wacky Elks.
The Office of Student Housing should know this by now, since my personal advisor (i.e., my mother) and I have discussed it with them in the past, but they seem to have forgotten now, judging by this letter.
I quote: "If our office does not receive payment...by February 2nd, your eating privileges will be stopped." Note it does not say that if I don't pay by February 2, I will no longer be able to eat at the Morris Center cafeteria, where DT resident eat. No sir, it says I will not be able to eat AT ALL. Period. My eating privileges will be stopped. I guess the Office of Student Housing is more powerful than I thought. Perhaps they will send my picture to all the restaurants in the area, tagged with the warning, "Do not give this person any food. He did not pay his housing bill."
The second paragraph is the part that made me mad, though: "Also, please be aware that failure to pay your debts to the University when due is considered a violation of the Honor Code."
OH NO! NOT THE HONOR CODE! I DON'T WANT TO BREAK THE HONOR CODE!
Do they really think that this snotty, condescending little bit of self-righteous tripe is going to inspire me to pay my bill faster? Do they think that I sit up here in my dorm room and horde immense piles of freshly minted cash, perhaps keeping it hidden in my rock-hard DT pillow (which would be a good place, since I can't sleep on it anyway), and that I was just going to keep it all for myself until they mentioned that in so doing, I would be breaking the Honor Code?
I'm going to bed now. I'll sleep easier, knowing that the Office of Student Housing not only thinks I've broken the Honor Code, but also thinks I care. And it's all the fault of some 50-year-old guy in an Elks hat named Ralph. Such delicious irony.
(Eric D. Snider is a BYU freshman from Lake Elsinore, California, and this whole ugly mess should be cleared up by the time you read this, but you can still feel free to send him money if you want to.)
Copyright © Eric D. Snider.
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