Oh, but of course, just a day prior to the event, he doused the flames of outrage by saying he was donating all of that money to charity. What charity? Probably for AIDS research or something, he said in an interview with The Buffalo News on Sept. 29 (by the way, when accessing this week-old article I was told that I would have to PAY $1.95 for the rest of it, so I could not get a complete quote. Since when does The News start charging for week-old archived articles?! Even The New York Times isn’t that bad.). He also said he actually usually charges $300,000, making it look like we were getting off cheap.

Well la di da, Donald.

In my opinion, the so-called “financial wizard” and “real estate guru” didn’t deserve a dime for his speech. It only lasted about 35 minutes, began 15 minutes late, and it was full of clichés and poorly told stories of Trump’s life. My first-grade teacher could have gotten up on the stage to give a better speech about becoming a success (By the way, thank you, Miss Diane). Themes such as, “Work hard,” “have passion; love what you do,” and “never lose momentum” drew a yawn from this onlooker. Hell, I’ve been doing that for years. It lives and breathes inside of you. It’s common sense. It’s life.

It was disappointing to hear that Trump had been picked as the 2004 Student Choice speaker. Is this the person whom kids are really looking up to? For someone being labeled as so sharp and intelligent, Trump’s manner was somewhat pompous and Buffalo Bills game-day vulgar (no offense, fans, you should be proud. Trump couldn’t last in the party zone for a day, although he reminisced about playing catch with Dan Marino and John Elway here many years before). Trump came off as arrogant, greedy, and addicted to cold, hard cash. Sure, having money is nice, no one is denying that, but Trump couldn’t have possibly done more to represent everything that other countries see the United States as being: a complete corporate consumer bastard. Families and businesspeople from all over Western New York came out to see what they probably thought of as an excellent model for their children, and possibly themselves, to aspire to. Someone slick, worldly, talented, and, above all, successful. Ridiculously successful. So successful that he wooed UB into forking over 200k, when he was essentially speaking for free. I’m sorry, but I wouldn’t want my kid to roll into the business world with ethics such as “get even,” “if they screw you, screw them right back (I’ll leave the divorcees out of that one),” and “don’t forget a prenup.” The world is never going to get better if mentors are passing on those lessons.

The poor saps probably came out to hear The Donald’s tickling tales of being a star on his hit show, “The Apprentice.” Well, they received none of that until the end, during the Q&A. Trump seemed somewhat exasperated to answer questions about his show, but he did his best to tackle the mystery of Omarosah’s character. I believe that I left at that point.

I actually squirmed in my seat, and a good one at that, for most of the time, surprising myself to not feel thoroughly excited to see the stagnant blonde slab of hair and signature pink tie five feet away from me. Trump’s speech acted as a catalyst to my cold meds, causing me to space out every so often. I believe that I started drawing farm animals in the margin of my notebook and that I tied to figure out exactly how The Buffalo News’ photographer’s camera worked, and why he had to take about 1,000 pictures when I knew that Trump would look the same in all of them. Finally, at around 8:50 p.m., I packed up my gear and sprinted up the Alumni bleachers, hurrying to get to my car because there was another, far more interesting, show on in town that night. Oh yeah, anyone remember the presidential debates? I think that Trump’s comments could have made President George Bush’s responses sound like Albert Einstein.

By Nicole Schuman

“We paid how much for this guy?” “I’d pay to see his toupee set on fire.” “What a complete ass.” “What a waste of time.” Yes, folks, these are only a few of the comments I heard during and after The Donald Trump’s September 30 lecture at the University at Buffalo’s Alumni Arena. The media juiced up the excitement for the appearance with its acknowledgement of Trump’s $200,000 price tag. Stories about the massive payoff appeared in papers such as The Baltimore Sun and USA Today, as well as on ABC and Yahoo! News. If anything, it would be interesting to see The Donald’s response to the media mess.