Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Satire: MLK Day of Service consists of searching for loose change to donate to University diversity initiatives

It started out as a joke, but it might just work

Satire: MLK Day of Service consists of searching for loose change to donate to University diversity initiatives

The following piece is satire and should not be misconstrued for actual reporting. Any resemblance to a student, staff or faculty member is coincidental.

Every year, AU hosts a day of service to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his commitment to service. As part of the initiative, students engaged in a campus-wide search for loose change to donate to diversity initiatives on campus. On Jan. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., volunteers carried metal detectors across the operable portion of the Edward Friedheim Quadrangle. In addition, volunteers searched through the crevices of residence hall lounge couches and other student spaces.

Described as a “day on and not a day off,” AU hopes to provide attendees the opportunity to learn more about the ins and outs of university budgeting and restrictions of philanthropic gifts and grants. 

What started out as a off-hand joke from AU’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) during a University Board of Trustees meeting has blossomed into a fully-fledged program. Reportedly during the meeting, a new trustee remarked that “With regard to Inclusive Excellence, AU should direct more funds toward widening and deepening programs related to diversity and inclusivity.”

In response, the CFO painfully laughed stating, “What funds? We’re almost fully tuition-dependent and near half the student body has financial stops due to their inability to pay. We’d be better off mass listserving the student body to give us their loose change.”

From there, the programming for the MLK Day of Service came to be. For those unable to make it to campus for the event, the Center for Community Engagement & Service encouraged students, staff and faculty to participate at home: “Take an hour to scrounge your apartment or house for loose change.” 

Donations gathered will go toward the Antiracist Research & Policy Center, the African American and African Diaspora Studies Program, appropriate working groups and widening scholarship opportunities for underserved high school seniors in Washington, D.C. Individuals looking to participate and/or donate their loose change should contact the Center for Community Engagement & Service for further instruction.  

Nickolaus Mack is a senior in the School of International Service and The Eagle’s managing opinion editor. 

nmack@theeagleonline.com 


Never miss a story.

Get our weekly newsletter in your inbox.