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ISSUE 119 VOL 18 PUBLISHED 4/28/2006

Giving away our integrity

By Executive Editors
Executive Editor

Friday, April 28, 2006

Honestly, with all of the exposition about how “in trouble” this school is financially, we sure do wave our money around. As many of us have seen, the Student Alumni Association (SAA), a branch of the Student Government Association (SGA), gave away an iPod in an online raffle. Oh goodie.

It’s a standard move. In fact, the Minnesota Twins do it all the time: free Torii Hunter bobble-head figurine day, free mini-baseball-bat day and free T-shirt day. All of these ideas are completely golden. “But why,” you may ask, “are these ideas golden, and not SGA’s iPod give-away?” The answer is simple: With the Twins, everyone gets something.

We’ve all been there: the last picked for dodgeball, the only one in class who forgot to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day or the only trick-or-treater to receive a rock on Halloween. We all dislike rejection, especially when it comes to fancy toys.

It is a simple case of the “haves” and the “have-nots.” Perhaps a good old ice cream social would be an appropriate idea. That way, everyone gets a scoop of ice cream as well as the opportunity to socialize with other students, or even the community if we are so bold, as opposed to one student winning an iPod, only to be mugged by his or her jealous peers afterwards.

Furthermore, how on earth can we justify giving away a $400 iPod just to encourage students to learn more about alumni support? We could do a great many things with that money which could make a dent, albeit a small dent, in our surroundings. We could initiate lobbying efforts to save state grants, give to any number of charities or even pay the first two months lease on a Segway Human Transporter for President Thomforde as a parting gift. Or maybe, just maybe, we could spend that $400 on a plane ticket to send someone to Washington, D.C., to petition for more funding for college education, rather than spending more time discussing whether or not we should change the name of Fireside because, after all, when has there ever been a fire in Fireside?

Actually, we suggest that SGA should have spent that money on the previously proposed conciliatory fruit baskets that would woefully inform us of our tuition increases year after year – which, oddly enough, may or may not be directly related to the giving away of iPods.

Give-away-syndrome has not been quarantined only to the SAA however. The itch has spread throughout the student government, encouraging many groups to resort to such actions. Although the idea is contagious, senators and SGA executives must refrain from passing the spending bug to their constituents, footing those whom they represent, and were elected by, with the bill.

SGA simply has fallen into the habit of frequent and frivolous give-aways when the money spent on these attractions could be better spent elsewhere.

We acknowledge and understand that SGA is making an effort, and that’s cute, but SGA must accept that it will never be universally popular – which isn’t evidence of apathy, but merely a discrepancy in priorities among students – and that’s okay.

We ask the student senate and SGA to either hold back on the heavy spending, or at least put that money into efforts that enhance campus life for everyone.

Besides, everyone has an iPod.

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