Transparency Item: The Perspectives section of the Graphic is comprised of articles based on opinion. This is the opinion and perspective of the writer.
From Oct. 6-8, parents, siblings and guests visited Pepperdine’s campus for a diverse range of events. Many families consider whether the event is worth $90 per person not including students, especially because Pepperdine’s campus is open to visitors year-round.
For a family of four, it would cost $270 for three family members to attend because Pepperdine students could attend for free. This does not account for travel, hotel or off-campus activities.
This high price forces families into the uncomfortable position of deciding whether or not to attend Waves Weekend as many families are not in the position to pay this fee. With Pepperdine’s estimated cost of attendance already at $85,268, one would think that the University could cover the costs of the weekend without an additional fee.
The weekend featured Madness Village, Orange & Blue Madness, a reception with Pepperdine’s President and first lady, tours of the Adamson House and admission into the Getty Villa, according to Pepperdine’s website. There were also special events such as a pickleball clinic and a hike to the cross.
Through scheduled and unscheduled events, parents integrated into the Waves community that their students are already a part of. I believe these priceless interactions made the money and time costs worth it to event attendees.
“We love Pepperdine,” Jenny Root, sophomore Hannah Root’s mother, said. “Everything Pepperdine does is 110%. It’s absolutely the best school.”
The weekend evoked positive commentary about the University.
“I believe this is the absolute best private institution in the Western United States — even in the United States,” Dan Root, Hannah Root’s father said.
Pepperdine’s likability increased based on the performance of Waves Weekend according to Angela Turner, sophomore Mason Turner’s mother. The energy on campus allowed for new connections to be made between visitors and students.
“I like Pepperdine more after this weekend,” Turner said. “I have connected with parents, faculty and students.”
According to Hung Le, senior vice chancellor for Alumni Affairs, Advancement. Pepperdine had this goal in mind when planning the event.
“The goal for Waves Weekend is to be strengthened as a community,” Le said. “We’re all one community. We help each other, we celebrate each other and we honor each other. That’s what Waves Weekend is all about.”
The $90 fee did not seem to make many parents hesitant to attend, according to Jenny Root.
“It’s a huge weekend,” Jenny Root said. “We totally understand the price.”
Although $90 is a lot of money, it does not cover the cost of the entire weekend. The University uses external funds to subsidize expenses such as food costs for students, Le said.
“The University provides extra funding,” Le said. “We’re actually providing food and food trucks free of charge to all of our students.”
Pepperdine used numerous resources to unite the community during Waves Weekend. Le said the weekend draws from external budgets because it is so costly.
“The funds for Waves Weekend came from the Programming Board, Student Life and Advancement’s budgets,” Le said.
Because funds come from departments such as the Student Programming Board and Student Life, which students pay a student life fee for, funding is not completely free — just paid in advance as a part of the fee.
In addition, these departments are funded through student tuition money, further suggesting that the event is not truly free for students. Nonetheless, it saves attendees additional out-of-pocket fees during the event.
Although Waves Weekend is a high price, Pepperdine does not advertise itself as a budget school. Many students, myself included, chose Pepperdine because they have ample resources to provide each student with a personalized education and community.
As seen with the price of tuition, a Pepperdine level of engagement costs a lot of money. Waves Weekend is just one example of Pepperdine going above and beyond for its students.
“You as a student are the heart of the education enterprise,” Le said. “You’re not just on the peripheral; you are the heart. I felt that as a student, and it transformed my life, and I still feel it now.”
Although it is extremely unfortunate that some families may be left out of the event due to its price, I believe the University made the right call for the most amount of people.
The best resolution to the high cost would be maintaining the price point while also offering financial assistance to those who were struggling to attend to make the event more accessible.
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Email Caitlin Murray: email@example.com