Trump’s fake school

The Lamp Online Staff

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SPRINGFIELD By now, just about everyone in America knows the name Donald Trump. The multibillionaire businessman has been running for president since 2015.

His policies may not be completely understood, but this is not the first time he has not been totally upfront and honest. In the mid-2000s, Trump began what has been known as a “huge scam,” and is currently being sued because of it. Trump University looked promising to those who signed up for it, but they were soon met with utter disappointment.

The purpose of Trump University was to teach students how to successfully operate a business and earn huge profits. In fact, the promotional video for the so-called “university” promised “terrific professors, terrific people, terrific brains” to teach the classes. The video also promised success to those who participated, with Trump claiming to have “hand-picked” successful people to teach the courses.

It was later discovered that Trump pick none of the “experts.” Instead, the organization hired a third party that, according to the National Review, “creates and develops materials for an array of motivational speakers and seminar and timeshare rental companies.” Essentially, Trump University cut costs by hiring a bunch of motivational speakers, instead of actual experts in real estate or business owning.

The name Trump University is a bit misleading. Technically, the organization was not a college, nor did it provide students with any college credit. Upon its launch on May 23, 2005, the name was changed to Trump Entrepreneur Initiative. The name was changed, according to the Huffington Post, because the New York Department of Education suggested that the original title was “misleading and even illegal.” The Better Business Bureau also gave the organization a D-minus rating. Recently, Trump claimed to have received an A-minus rating, according to the New York Times.

Within the past week, three anti-Trump ads have been released for the presidential race concerning the effects of Trump University. Each ad is about 30 seconds long and features someone who paid for the courses talking about how they got scammed. The common theme among the ads is that Trump promised something great, and lied after he took their money. One man said that his credit score was “ruined,” after attending the “university.”

Although the actual “university” was stationed in New York, classes were also offered in Dallas and San Francisco. Currently, Trump is battling numerous lawsuits. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is suing for $40 million, while California is involved in a class-action lawsuit against the phony university. Both are suing for fraud charges.

About 5,000 people were allegedly swindled out of their money by Trump, 600 of whom are New Yorkers, according to the Daily News. The Atlantic reported in 2014 about a playbook that was discovered with the Trump University logo on it. The contents further prove that Trump was intentionally out to get people’s money.

The playbook shows that the school’s goal was to gain at least $70,000 per seminar, which lasted three days. Even the rooms of the classes had very specific details, according to the playbook. It is quoted as saying that, “chairs should be close enough together to bring attendees out of their comfort zone,” and that the temperature should be “at no more than 68 degrees.” There was a “sales corral” near the exit that one would have to walk by in order to leave.

The playbook also contained instructions for certain events, such as if a “member of the media were to approach the registration table.” The staffers were instructed “not to talk to him or her under any circumstance.” Usually, if someone is starting a business, some free publicity would not be a bad thing. Seeing how Trump handled reporters shows that there was something wrong with his business endeavor. Perhaps the single most effective piece of evidence that Trump University was designed to be a sham was the phrase “all payments must be received in full,” in all caps. The Atlantic sums it up by saying, “Basically, anyone with a valid credit card was ‘admitted’ into Trump University.”

Some instructors incorrectly remarked that Trump could just happen to “drop by” the class. Apparently, the students never got to meet Trump in the flesh, but a cardboard cutout was available for students to take pictures with.

Trump’s name was tarnished after this debacle, and is still being brought up in debates. The ongoing legal issues he has been facing could prove fatal in his bid for the white house. It can make one wonder how he has done so well in this presidential race, despite his history with making deals.
Isaac Warren can be reached at [email protected]

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