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ISSUE 118 VOL 18 PUBLISHED 4/29/2005

Money where are mouths are

By Executive Editors
Executive Editor

Friday, April 29, 2005

Financial decisions are being made every day on campus, sometimes with the input of students and sometimes without. Regardless, students should always be concerned with how tuition dollars are spent.

Talk of money and how to spend it has been a common theme on campus this year, from the administration’s decision to sale WCAL before students returned to campus to Senate’s announcement at the beginning of the year that they had discovered a $100,000 surplus.

Most recently, the financial discussion on campus has revolved around the amount of money the Political Awareness Committee (PAC) recently spent on conservative pundit Ann Coulter.

It’s encouraging to hear students raising these financial concerns and even contemplating how they can become involved in groups like PAC and Senate, both of which make important financial decisions that have real influences on student life. The problem is, students don’t show their concern on these matters often enough.

It’s easy for students to be cognizant of their own financial concerns rather than worry about the financial decisions of the college, but we cannot reserve the right to complain unless we are proactively seeking solutions to these fiscal issues. As students, we should always be questioning how our student leaders and our administrators are choosing to spend our money.

The decision to sell WCAL may have been out of students’ control, but now that the station has been sold, how has the money garnered from its purchase been spent?

Students should be questioning whether or not the WCAL money is best being spent to repair the Organ in Boe Chapel, or if setting aside the funds to build a concert hall on campus would be better.

What about the ways in which Senate chooses to spend its money? We elect these student leaders, but how often do we oversee and explore the decisions they are making? Many groups on campus clamor about the need for students to get involved in the our country’s democratic processes, but what about getting involved in our own democracy right here on the Hill?

Senate made a visible impact on campus this semester when they subscribed to the USA Today College Readership Program, which brings three daily newspapers to campus each weekday. Is this program really the best use of Senate’s extra funds? Students can easily access newspapers online. It’s an alternative which is both cheaper and more environmentally efficient.

Healthy debate is required with all issues directly pertaining to our fiscal decisions. Just following the masses and going along with whatever decisions our leaders are making does not benefit our community.

It was encouraging to see students at last Thursday’s “Talk Back to PAC” session and raising the question of whether Ms. Coulter was an effective speaker and one worth the amount of money PAC choose to spend on her. However, we shouldn’t just be asking these types of questions in regard to Ms. Coulter, we should be asking them of all pertinent on-campus financial issues much more frequently.

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