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Llamas
10-25-2008, 08:44 PM
Johnny Lechner is a perpetual student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. His claim to fame (or infamy) is that he has been attending college since 1994. After 13 years of college, and a year studying abroad in Europe, Lechner planned to graduate on Saturday, May 19, 2007 with a triple major/quadruple minor.[1] According to Lechner, however, he will be staying for yet another year and will not graduate until 2008.[2]

Lechner was also set to graduate in 2006, but withdrew his application to graduate five days before the scheduled May 13 2006 ceremony. He stated that he wanted to spend a year studying abroad.[3] At the moment, he has the credits to graduate with degrees in Communications, Liberal Studies, Health, Education, Women's Studies, and Theater.

Lechner has been dubbed the "real-life Van Wilder". The state passed legislation instituting a so-called "Lechner Law/slacker tax" on long-term students, so Lechner pays double the standard in-state tuition. In 2007 a Wisconsin state senator described Lechner as "exactly what is wrong with the educational system," which sparked controversy within the state senate quarters.

I went to college with this dude my freshman year (02-03), and I hated him then. He's pretty much a douchebag extraordinaire, and seems to be more "famous" than I thought.

The sad part is that, when I went to that University, all the students idolized him... looked up to him and thought he was the man. I just don't understand why anyone would ever do this. Why would you bother accumulating all that debt, knowing you're eventually going to have to move on? He doesn't have a single useful degree (besides Education, depending on what kind) after... 14 years. Plus, the dude lived on campus IN THE DORMS the entire duration. I would kill myself.

www.johnnylechner.com

Desperado
10-25-2008, 10:22 PM
Maybe he just wants to learn more? Not for money, but for being generally interested? If he can pay the dough I fail to see why it's such a big deal, which is why the media coverage is also pretty dumb. And of course he's a douche, if you are in a position like that not coming off as conceited is almost impossible.

Jebus
10-25-2008, 10:55 PM
"exactly what is wrong with the educational system"
What's that supposed to mean? It's not like it's a common occurrence. So as soon as this guy graduates, does it mean the main problem with the education system would be solved because he's the only one doing it?

Rag Doll
10-25-2008, 11:35 PM
it's bullshit they think he's such a huge problem and bullshit they make him pay more tuition. plus, making such a fuss about him in the media (and the state senate, jesus christ) is exactly what he wants. off course he'll continue to put off graduating to ride the fame wave.

and uh...not all of those degrees are useless.

jacknife737
10-26-2008, 01:19 AM
I don't really see what the problem here is, sure he may be a douche in his personal life (although, i have no idea, never even knew he existed until this thread), but i don't really see any major problem continuing your studies.

I mean, if you don't feel like leaving academia, why should you? I also feel that "slacker tax" is fucking complete bullshit, it's totally unjustified.

Although, i will admit, the living in dorms for 14 years was kind of strange.....

Sunny
10-26-2008, 07:35 AM
it's bullshit they think he's such a huge problem and bullshit they make him pay more tuition. plus, making such a fuss about him in the media (and the state senate, jesus christ) is exactly what he wants. off course he'll continue to put off graduating to ride the fame wave.

and uh...not all of those degrees are useless.

i completely agree.
i don't see what the big deal is. the guy might be a douche for all i know, and the "Van Wilder" stuff is bs, but honestly? slacker tax? the guy has the credits to graduate... from SIX different majors. if he had just been slacking his way through one major and only now got the credits to graduate, OK, i get it. but as it is, i don't see what he's being penalized for. the school just sounds like a bunch of greedy assholes.

""exactly what is wrong with the educational system"

you mean a bunch of bureaucrats that focus on unimportant BS instead of dedicating time and energy to actual issues? yeah, indeed.

WebDudette
10-26-2008, 11:33 AM
Double the tuition?! Thats ridiculous. I can understand if it was a little more, but double?

Jebus
10-26-2008, 02:04 PM
I think the way the university sees it is that they're wasting valuable resources on him. The point of university is to prepare their students to become productive members of society. For every extra degree he decides to get, the university could have used their resources to train another individual who would actually put their education to use. It's not like him having 4 degrees would make him four time as valuable as someone who has one. Also, you have to keep in mind that this guy goes to public university, not private. Tax payers are also wasting money on him even though he won't be contributing anything extra for them. That's where the reasoning for higher tuition comes in. If he want to to stay just for the sake of becoming smarter, having a good time, and being famous let him pay the tax payer's burden.

Sunny
10-26-2008, 02:34 PM
I think the way the university sees it is that they're wasting valuable resources on him. The point of university is to prepare their students to become productive members of society. For every extra degree he decides to get, the university could have used their resources to train another individual who would actually put their education to use. It's not like him having 4 degrees would make him four time as valuable as someone who has one. Also, you have to keep in mind that this guy goes to public university, not private. Tax payers are also wasting money on him even though he won't be contributing anything extra for them. That's where the reasoning for higher tuition comes in. If he want to to stay just for the sake of becoming smarter and having a good time, let him pay the tax payer's burden.


yes, the university is using resources on the student, but that's why the university is not *free*. he is paying tuition like everyone else. that tuition serves as reimbursement. i don't see what the harm is here. he's most likely paying for dorms and buying his own textbooks.

and where do you draw the line? i know plenty of people who went to college just because mommy and daddy wanted them to... and they don't intend on lifting a finger after graduation, because they don't have to. they sure as shit won't be "productive members of society", but who cares? should the taxpayers care? should they prohibit trust fund kids from studying art history at state schools because afterwards they "won't be productive"? because they won't pay back their debt to society? come on!
then there are the people who went to college for the hell of it, but always wanted to get pregnant and be stay-at-home mothers. they won't go out there and join the workforce and make money and pay taxes... should we penalize them as well?

my friend graduated from state school, took her inheritance and decided to become a beach lifeguard because she wants to. should she have paid double tuition to ease the taxpayers burden? because she could've done something more "productive" with her degree?

state schools are supposed to offer their services to people who want to go to college. end of story. why, how, and what they want to do after graduation should NOT be an issue.

Cock Joke
10-26-2008, 02:36 PM
He's not exactly who I'd call modest judging by his web site.

Jebus
10-26-2008, 04:30 PM
yes, the university is using resources on the student, but that's why the university is not *free*. he is paying tuition like everyone else. that tuition serves as reimbursement. i don't see what the harm is here. he's most likely paying for dorms and buying his own textbooks.
There's a reason why private universities are usually more expensive than public. Of course it's not completely free, but part of the cost is still payed by taxes. The same logic is used for why out of state students have to pay more. As much as it sucks, higher education is not a right. Hey, I mean. I'm Mr. Minority. Middle name Affirmative Action. I'm all about leeching off rich white people! Even I believe lines need to be drawn.


and where do you draw the line? i know plenty of people who went to college just because mommy and daddy wanted them to... and they don't intend on lifting a finger after graduation, because they don't have to. they sure as shit won't be "productive members of society", but who cares? should the taxpayers care? should they prohibit trust fund kids from studying art history at state schools because afterwards they "won't be productive"? because they won't pay back the ir debt to society? come on!
then there are the people who went to college for the hell of it, but always wanted to get pregnant and be stay-at-home mothers. they won't go out there and join the workforce and make money and pay taxes... should we penalize them as well?
The philosophy behind publicly funded universities (or any other service/good) is that it'll provide positive externalities for everyone even though a tax payer himself won't be directly benefiting from it. The way you keep on quoting my "productive" you make it seem like I'm making this stuff up. Of course higher education isn't all about just using the skills gained to get a job. Just having a generally well-educated population is good for society as a whole. Having well-informed and smart people means less stupid decisions that would adversely affect everyone else. That's why I think your lifeguard friend not doing anything with his degree is fair enough. If the university and tax payers feel they did their part for someone and now they're just doing extra, that's up to them. Like I said before, public university isn't a right. You want more education? Head off to private university. Resources are scarce. We can't have everything we want especially when funded by taxes.

WebDudette
10-26-2008, 05:18 PM
Does it bother you that you are exploiting the system?

People have been misled to believe that taxpayer dollars are subsidizing my educational costs. I am actually one of only a handful of students in the State of Wisconsin that covers that subsidized amount out of my own pocket. As far as taking up a spot of a deserving applicant, The Chancellor and other representatives have been quoted that I have not stood in the way of a single applicant’s acceptance.

Though this could be a lie.

Jebus
10-26-2008, 05:41 PM
See this is the thing I don't understand. If there was absolutely zero problem with him being there, why would the university be taking up any action against him? It wouldn't be worth the trouble. Or was it just some random senator trying to make a name for himself who brought it up? Eh, whatever. I was just giving general reasoning from a university's perspective without knowing much specifically about the guy. Overall, I don't think it's not that big of a problem since it doesn't happen often.

Llamas
10-26-2008, 09:51 PM
"exactly what is wrong with the educational system"
What's that supposed to mean? It's not like it's a common occurrence. So as soon as this guy graduates, does it mean the main problem with the education system would be solved because he's the only one doing it?

Yeah, I didn't really get that line. I thought that was kind of stupid, actually.


I think the way the university sees it is that they're wasting valuable resources on him. The point of university is to prepare their students to become productive members of society. For every extra degree he decides to get, the university could have used their resources to train another individual who would actually put their education to use. It's not like him having 4 degrees would make him four time as valuable as someone who has one. Also, you have to keep in mind that this guy goes to public university, not private. Tax payers are also wasting money on him even though he won't be contributing anything extra for them. That's where the reasoning for higher tuition comes in. If he want to to stay just for the sake of becoming smarter, having a good time, and being famous let him pay the tax payer's burden.

I agree with this.

I don't know, he's just clearly not there for any reason other than fame. I always thought he was trying to get his name out there as a perpetual student so that people would hear of him and check out his (fairly lame) music. Like, he's been staying in school as long as possible, just waiting to make it big in music so that he doesn't ever actually have to work.

I think it's good he has to pay more tuition, though I'm not sure I agree with double. Maybe he should just have to pay out of state tuition or something.

Maybe I am a bit biased because he struck me as just a big douche personally, and his website doesn't work to prove me wrong.