I was shocked today when I opened my copy of the Hoot to see the article “Irresponsible Fees” by Alex Schneider. Let’s consider the term “irresponsible.” Princeton wordnet defines it as “showing a lack of care for consequences.” Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “not answerable for conduct or actions; not liable to be called to account.” I scoured the article for a single warranted argument as to why this fee could be viewed as “irresponsible,” yet failed to find a single one.
The fee certainly shows a concern for consequences; in fact its purpose is to remedy the negative environmental consequences of our life at Brandeis. Student housing is responsible for a significant amount of carbon emissions, and failure to implement this fee shows a lack of care for those consequences, and places the entire burden of offsetting them and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 (a goal the University has pledged to meet) on the University. It would be irresponsible to ourselves and to our planet not to contribute towards this effort.