Humboldt college merch should be affordable for students

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by Alina Ferguson

Cal Poly Humboldt, while having relatively affordable tuition and options for scholarships and financial aid, is still robbing its students blind with the cost of apparel, food and general items at campus stores.

One of the ways the school robs its students is apparel. For students it costs an arm and a leg. The hoodies and tees on sale at campus stores are much too expensive for most students’ budgets. Students should be paying discounted prices for their items, as many struggle just to get by. Most students have a heavy course load, debts from tuition and living costs, and not a lot of time for work. 

The school should be able to offer apparel to students if not for free, then at a much reduced cost. Consider all the other ways they are finding to screw us out of our money, all the options they have taken off the meal plan. Quick side rant, it used to be possible to get two milkshakes on one meal plan. Sounds unbelievable, huh? The school has stopped offering a myriad of items for their meal exchanges, limiting the amount of options students now have for the meals that are covered in the amount that they have already paid. 

Students wearing merch are a sort of free advertisement for the school, like a sponsorship deal. Typically sponsorships include some sort of incentive, like free apparel to compensate the wearer for representing the brand.

Since we, the students, are already paying tuition, living costs, and the cost for food, we are not getting anything for free. For representing, or sponsoring the school, we should at least get some free merch as with most sponsorships.

This is not necessarily exclusive to Cal Poly Humboldt, as many schools charge students for apparel. The fact that students are being charged is not so much the issue, rather how much we are getting charged. It would be more tolerable if Cal Poly Humboldt offered merch for students at a reduced cost. 

The simple answer or solution to this “non-issue” as many see it: don’t buy apparel. If it is too much money, you don’t have to buy it. But it is nice to be able to rep your school, to walk down the street flaunting that you attend a Cal Poly. I pay to go here, I’m smart enough to. It’s a nice feeling. The school should “pay it forward” and discount merch for students.

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One Comment

  1. PAUL BRUNO PAUL BRUNO Thursday, November 17, 2022

    I totally agree. My company decorates and distributes apparel to schools in the intermountain west (UT, ID, NV, CO) and we see crazy markups over our prices all the time. We normally add a 30% margin to our hard costs and the schools typically add a 100% margin to that price. If you have a student ID I believe that prices should be discounted by at least 25%. On a related note, when I sell a screen-printed t-shirt to a restaurant for $6 and they turn around and sell it for $25 I shake my head in disbelief. If they were smart, they would sell those tees for $10 and be happy that those customers are going to become walking billboards!

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