Snooki's $32,000 Payday to Speak at Rutgers Angers Parents
"It's disgusting," one parent says of "Jersey Shore" star Nicole Polizzi's being paid $2,000 more than a Nobel Prize winner to speak on campus.
Parents of Rutgers University students are angry about school officials' decision to pay Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi $32,000 to appear on their campus last week.
The fee was $2,000 more than Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison is receiving to speak at graduation May 15.
"It's disgusting," Nester Delgado, whose daughter is a freshman, told the New York Post. "Next year, is it going to be J-WOWW or the Situation?" Delgado added, referring to Polizzi's Jersey Shore castmates.
According to the Post, parents were especially upset that Polizzi got paid nearly $10,000 more than they pay annually to send one kid to Rutgers. Tuition and housing at the university is said to total more than $23,000.
Added Christine Getz, a part-time preschool teacher with two kids attending Rutgers: "I don't think she's a good representation of a role model for my kids."
A reported 2,000 people came to the university to hear Polizzi speak Thursday. Among the pearls of wisdom she dispensed: "Study hard, but party harder" and "When you're tan, you feel better about yourself."
Last week, Rutgers defended its decision to pay Polizzi the $32,000 fee to have her speak on its campus.
"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."
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.