One of my friends from school posted an article about class on his Facebook page, and the comment thread has turned into a massive shitstorm. The full piece is here, but the summary is basically that my school has a class problem and that we need to talk about it:

Through a combination of athletic scholarships, the need for students to pay full tuition for university revenues, and the ease with which Georgetown ushers in students on legacies or from an elite set of Northeastern prep schools, only a proportion of Georgetown undergrads are admitted because their brains are particularly sharp. Too many are there because, put simply, money.

One of his FB friends was horribly offended at the suggestion that not every person at the school was admitted solely based on their academic abilities. He has now been arguing with anyone who will respond for about 200 comments. Some highlights:

In response to someone who said that many people decide not to come to the school for financial reasons but who didn't have statistics on it:

You should not be making utterly outlandish and classist statements without any evidence. ... They charge 60k so that people can get financial aid. Do you not realize that we pay 60k a year to support people who aren't paying the 60k a year? We shoulder the total responsibility for paying for the teachers, maintenance etc. What you are suggesting is just ridiculous. Do you think the people who teach you work for free? Do you think buildings are built for free? No things cost money, simple as that. Now please stop spreading utter ignorance with unsubstantiated opinion. Your unevidenced opinion should not be stated as fact. They are need blind as this school, which means people are let in on merit alone, not on financials, stop spreading hatred. Its completely unfair. Suggesting rich kids are spending tons and living in the clouds, while you suffer accumulating debt is simply not fair and not true. It promotes class hatred and you cannot possibly prove it.

General disdain:

I feel like I'm talking to five year olds who have never been to math class. If you reduce fees, you have to cut something.

I find this whole thing utterly disgusting and I think you should all be ashamed of yourselves.

In response to suggestions that our president is overpaid, including a reminder that all previous presidents were Jesuits and so didn't receive a salary:

He is [paid] over twice the mean, but he is also at a university that is right at the top end of all the university they took that average from. Think about what you are saying, Georgetown is generally placed in at least the top 50 of those almost 500 universities examined. ~60 presidents get better paid then him, ergo he is in fact below what the market would say he should get paid. Again, simple math

This is just the way it is and everyone who doesn't like it is bitter:

Honestly, you are at one of the best universities in the world and rather than being thankful for that you are bitter because there are more rich kids than poor. Of course there is, we live in a market economy dictated by money and what money provides from a young age. if you don't like it go live in China, I hear its fantastic there.

In response to a comment about working to have "a better balance of backgrounds in applicants, acceptees, and attendees":

They have the right amount of rich and poor people as society dictates rendering your argument mute

After someone, attempting to prove a point about how wealth affects your ability to get accepted on academic merit, asked him if he had had SAT/ACT tutoring or the like:

No I didn't actually. I come from England. I never went to an SAT class before I took it. I wrote my own essays etc. In fact all of you got more help than me because from what I learnt since coming here there are SAT classes even at school.

Ah, yes. I forgot about how all US schools have SAT classes and better prepare students for entry to elite colleges than your humble little British school. What's it called again? Oh, Eton, that's right.

And, on the whole:

That is simply unfair classist, and stereotyping a group at Georgetown who have generally worked very hard at school to get here

I'm not wading into this, obviously. I'm just sitting back and shaking my head at this disaster.