I’m a BAS student with four children who were all looking forward to ACU’s Birthday Celebration. We received a flyer in the mail weeks in advance outlining the schedule for Saturday. They were especially excited about the advertised Outdoor Birthday Carnival.
“Adults and children of all ages will enjoy the Birthday Carnival in the mall area of campus. Play games to win small prizes, bounce around on giant inflatables, grab a turkey leg and funnel cake, and catch up with friends to celebrate this landmark occasion.”
Imagine my surprise when we arrived at the event and my children were shooed off the “giant inflatable” they’d been waiting weeks for because they didn’t have a bracelet. A what? The attendant told me that for only $3 each, I could buy bracelets that would grant the kids access to the fabulous giant inflatables. I was stunned.
It wasn’t until then that I then noticed that everything had a price tag-food, inflatables, and even bottled water. I was afraid to even ask about the aforementioned funnel cakes and turkey legs. Under the pressure of shameless begging, I bought the bracelets. I felt like an idiot; I felt ambushed.
Of course, only ACU would throw a birthday party, send out thousands of invitations and then charge you when you show up. I’ve looked at that flyer a hundred times- there are prices listed for the concert and the theater production, but the outdoor carnival- nada.
What exactly does my ACU student activity fee, which is $70 a semester, pay for? As a professional designer and event planner, this is just unconscionable. Here’s a little advice, ACU: Don’t throw the party if you can’t afford it, and don’t you ever use my children to crawl deeper into my pockets again.