Rutgers University Defends Paying Snooki $32,000

3:55 PM PST 04/01/2011 by Mark Cina
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic/Getty Images

“The students canvassed for who they wanted here,” a spokesperson says after the "Jersey Shore" star receives more to speak at the school than a Nobel Prize winner.

Rutgers University is defending spending about $32,000 to get Jersey Shore star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi to appear on its campus this week.

The fee is $2,000 more than Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison is receivng to speak at graduation on May 15.
 
"We have more than 200 events on our campus during the course of the year, everything from scholarly presentations to entertainment," Rutgers spokesman Steve Manas said in a statement. "The students canvassed for who they wanted here and had the funds available."
 
More than 1,000 people came to the university to hear Snooki speak Thursday. Among the pearls of wisdom she dispensed: "Study hard, but party harder."
 
The Rutgers University Programming Association, a student-run committee, invited the self-described "guidette" to speak, using the mandatory student activity fees undergraduates must pay with their tuition.
 
The committee said they considered Snooki’s appearance fee reasonable since other people, including Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari and comic Kevin Hart, demanded $75,000 each for a campus show.
 
But student Hina Rehman, 20, told The Associated Press she found it “ridiculous” her tuition money was going to fund the event.
 
"It's fine the money used here is meant for entertainment purposes," she said, "but I think we can get better entertainment than that."
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