Steven G. Mihaylo is a big name on campus, literally. The words “Steven G. Mihaylo” are plastered all over the business building and the business college’s website. Students and campus visitors can even sit next to a bronze statue bearing the likeness of Mihalyo if they want to.
Before Dec. 1, I honestly thought Steven G. Mihaylo was a deceased alumnus, whose life’s work is honored by students napping on cushy benches and sipping venti frappuccinos. Little did I know, Steve Mihaylo (@smihaylo) has a very active Twitter account.
Luke Higgot, 21, a senior computer science major at CSUF, who is an active member of the Titan community and student government, tweeted, “expected student loan debt payoff: April 2057” in 2015.
Mihaylo brought it upon himself to offer some sage wisdom to this student …. over a year later: “@LukeWalkSkyer Have you ever considered getting a job? That’s what I did! It worked. @smihaylo #trump http://crexendo.com” (Yes, Mihaylo signs nearly every one of his tweets with his Twitter handle and business website).
Not only is this interaction strange, but it is incredibly inappropriate. Mihaylo does not know this student personally. He doesn’t know whether or not this student has a job. The student actually has two, yet Mihaylo does not understand the economic struggle of college students in 2016.
Kelsey Brewer (@KelseyBe77), a successful CSUF alumna who was an active member of ASI during her time as a Titan, had a heated discussion with Mihaylo on Nov. 30. Brewer tried her best to educate Mihaylo on the financial burden that plagues students today. Unfortunately, her carefully worded and citation-based argument did not mean anything to a man who replied with, “Wrong. Recheck your facts. @smihaylo http://crexendo.com.”
When I asked Mihaylo how much he paid for tuition, he claimed that it was about the same as now if you count for inflation. This is a straight-up lie. Mihaylo graduated from CSUF in 1969 when tuition was free and had a job as a full-time accountant while he was in school–a position you can’t even hold without a B.A. in Finance in 2016. For him to be giving such flippant and dismissive advice as “Get a Job!” to any college student, let alone students that he donates money to, is repugnant.
I interacted with Mihaylo on Twitter and I (@WestCoastBabae) was not “classy” as he pointed out (I tweeted him a picture of me flipping off his statue and joked about defecating on his statue).
He replied with “Talk to Pres. Garcia about taking my name off the University. I’m sure she will think you’re brilliant! @smihaylo http://crexendo.com.”
Mihaylo has a history of telling students who have had the misfortune of interacting with him on social media to talk to the president of the university about it.
He is taunting us with this statement because he knows that no one is going to take his name off the building. If students and faculty criticizing his company being guilty of fraud didn’t stop the initial inscriptions, then he knows nothing will. He knows that his donations to the school give him power over us. He can pick on us all he wants and can tweet and say whatever controversial and insulting statements he likes because he knows the university loves those dolla dolla bills y’all.
I don’t like Mihaylo’s politics, business sense or condescension, but I don’t mind his name being up on the building. It’s a big, silver, glinting reminder that philanthropy does not equal empathy or compassion.
Especially since, he paid for less than 10 percent of the building and that probably only covered his statue and all those nameplates.
Written by, Marie Watschke a fourth-year English major.