Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Pornhub provides opportunity

Clicking the “submit” button on a pornography website — a situation many college students might never imagine themselves in. However, more students are finding themselves in such a place now that Pornhub.com is offering a $25,000 scholarship.

The “Pornhub Cares $25,000 Scholarship” link is featured between two other links: “Help Pornhub Save the Boobs,” and “Save the Balls- A PSA by Pornhub.” These links are related to causes funded by one of the world’s most popular pornography websites, Pornhub.com. The site has established a philanthropic arm in order to help others, including college students.

“Part of our inspiration is that we’ve seen a lot of people have a hard time getting money to go to college. We want to make it easier for one person who shares the same mission of spreading happiness,” Pornhub’s Vice President Corey Price said to the Washington Post.

With a minimum 3.2 GPA, an essay between 1,000 and 1,500 words and a two through five minute video submission, any full-time student 18 years or older can be eligible to win the $25,000 scholarship. The prompt for the essay and video states, “How do you strive to make others happy?”

Video submissions on the website include applicants showcasing volunteer work, sports and other talents.

Even though the award may carry a negative connotation, students have the choice to showcase the earning to employers or other educational establishments. This may make a difference to students who feel intimidated by earning the scholarship based on the company it is coming from.

Plattsburgh State Associate Director of Financial Aid Kerry Lubold said that all outside financial aid, including scholarships, are “coded” on award letters as “private scholarship.” The financial aid office will not see where the award is coming from but can only see the amount it is worth.

“Our office does not render judgment or personal opinion on where the scholarship comes from,” Lubold said.

Students may choose to keep the award letter from the donor, whomever it may be, as part of a portfolio for future jobs, graduate school application or internships. Deciding whether or not to include such a donation letter from in a portfolio should depend on the type of job a student is looking for.

“As developed as our society may be, I would think that students may want to be cautious about including it because not everyone out there is able to remain unbiased in their thought process,” Lubold said. “We are quick to judge as a society, so the student may want to omit that if they feel like it is going to adversely impact their potential eligibility for a job.”

Lubold also said applicants should consider the “three T’s” when applying: How this will impact you Today, Tomorrow and Ten years from now. It is important to make sure a student’s integrity, reputation and academic goals cannot be adversely impacted by such a scholarship.

“With any scholarship, it is the fine print that is so critical,” Lubold said.

She said that society today is quick to read through things without actually understanding or interpreting what the terms and conditions may say.

“As long as the fine print doesn’t back the student into a corner that can cause them some sort of legal or other issues related to their well-being, then it shouldn’t matter,” said Lubold.

The idea of a scholarship awarded by a pornogrpahy website raises questions not only from a professional standing but on a moral and ethical level as well.

“Only you know what can either aid you or harm you and where your personal values and thoughts lie,” Lubold said.

She also said students should consult with those that are important to them for advice.

PSUC environmental studies junior Mike Scappaticci said he would consider applying for or accepting a scholarship such as this one.

“I think I would because I took out loans, and I wouldn’t care where the money came from,” he said.

PSUC social work junior Becky Cornwell said she would “probably not” apply or accept the scholarship.

“Considering where it’s coming from, I feel like it would almost be tainted money,” Cornwell said.

While $25,000 could help in any tuition bill, the idea of applying for a scholarship from such a company could intimidate students or be against their morals or values.

“You would have to go with your gut instinct. It’s the window of your conscience,” Director of Campus Ministry Mary E. Skillan said.

Skillan is the Director of Campus Ministry at the St. John XXIII Newman Center in Plattsburgh.

“It’s a tough one,” Skillan said on the idea of applying. “I am definitely against pornography.”

However, she also understands this scholarship may help someone in the opportunity in receiving a post-secondary education as well.

Skillan, who is currently enrolled in online courses herself, said she would rather use monetary gifts to fund her education. She also understands some students and their families may make too much money to earn Pell or other grants, but may not make enough to cover full education costs.

“People may get the wrong idea that you promote that type of thing, that you agree that pornography is OK,” Skillan said.

Lubold said the scholarship affiliation may or may not mean affirmation with the company.

“If I am offered a scholarship, by say, the National Rifle Association, does this mean I am pro-gun? Or does that just mean I am a strongly qualified student who is focused on academics?” Lubold said.

The thing to remember in applying for a scholarship such as this one is that it is voluntary. It is important to consider how this opportunity can affect future business prospects as well as morals, values and beliefs.

The deadline for this scholarship is Oct. 31. Pornhub.com also asks applicants to include a resume and official transcript with their essay and video submissions.

Email Marissa Russo at marissa.russo@cardinalpointsonline.com

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