College bribery scandal

By Ume Sarfaraz

You’re taught from a very young age to work hard so you can accomplish your goals.

In high school, you go from being a teenager to a young adult who has to worry about SAT’s, being in clubs and organizations and obtaining academic achievements to qualify for admission into a good college or university.

But, this wasn’t the case for the daughters of Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. The famous actresses have been publicly disgraced following the college admissions scandal, “Operation Varsity Blues,” that shocked the nation.

Huffman and Loughlin were among the 50 people who were charged in the college bribery scandal. The prominent parents were said to have paid William “Rick” Singer, the mastermind behind the scandal, in order to falsify academic as well as athletic records, according to the Time Magazine.

Huffman, who’s most famously known for her role in the ABC sitcom “Desperate Housewives,” paid $15,000 to her daughters’ SAT proctor so he could change the incorrect answers during grading.

Prosecutors asked that she be sentenced to a month in prison while Huffman’s attorneys asked for a lighter sentence. Before sentencing, Huffman apologized to the court as well as her family.

“[I apologize] to the students who work hard every day to get into college and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices supporting their children,” she added.

Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison, a $30,000 fine and 250 hours of mandatory community service.

Loughlin, who is best known for her role as Aunty Becky in the hit 90’s sitcom “Full House,” was accused of allegedly bribing college officials with false donations as well as falsifying pictures and documents.

Loughlin was accused of paying $500,000 to pass her daughters off as crew team recruits. She paid for fake pictures, which showed her daughters training and competing in rowing competitively.

As a result, Loughlin’s daughter, Olivia Jade Giannulli, was admitted to The University of Southern California.

Felicity Huffman and husband William Macy arrive at John Moakley U.S. Courthouse for Huffman’s sentencing hearing for her role in the college admissions scandal on September 13, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Paul Marotta/Getty Images/TNS)

Loughlin, who refused to accept the plea deal, is still awaiting sentencing.

When the news broke and was plastered across headlines, the public was outraged, comparing the trial to similar trials in which the less wealthy and influential defendants received heavier sentences.

“14 days is not enough,” said DCCC math and natural science major Mike Wagner, 20.

Money and power are big influences and it’s unfair for other kids who work hard to get into college, Wagner explained.

“[Huffman] deserves a steeper punishment and a lot more days,” said DCCC science major Ana Farinacci, 17.

Farinacci was not on board with doing the same for her future children. “I would really want them to work hard and earn their education,” she said.

While Wagner was unhappy with Huffman and Loughlin abusing their wealth and power, he stated he’d do the same if he had the means to do so.

“If my kids were interested in school then yes, I would say okay and do it for them,” Wagner said.

Contact Ume Sarfaraz at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

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