At the Student Government Association meeting this past Thursday, it was proposed that $60,000 go towards renovations in the Roost. This is unused money from the Student Activities fund.
There are several problems with this.
The SGA executive board agreed that they should not put the budget for the renovation up to a vote in front of the student body. If the money for the renovation is coming out of students’ pockets, then students should be the ones to ultimately decide whether or not they want $60,000 spent on decorating the Roost.
The meeting signals a larger problem in how SGA spends its money. It seems as though its priorities are screwed up. Some organizations and groups on campus get special attention and seem more important over others. The daycare on campus was cut due to a lack of funding and the Learning Center could use some extra space and computers, but does not have the budget for it. Yet we have enough money to spend on decorating a part of campus that will neither improve retention nor graduation rates.
Student activity fees are included in students’ tuition, and when unused, roll over into the next year. If those fees are not utilized, students should be refunded that money rather than have it go to unnecessary projects such as reupholstering chairs in an area of the campus that is not a top priority to most.
The $60,000 should be put towards a new and improved Learning Center in which more space is available for students seeking extra help, and also towards new computers it desperately needs. The library needs more printers as students sometimes have to form lines to print something. The art department and graphic design department lacks decent printing facilities in which they need better access to printers of higher quality. All of these issues are top priority as they serves students’ grades, the quality of their hard work, and recognition for their efforts.
Student activity fees should contribute toward campus life, academic progress, and the mental and physical well-being of students. A change must be made in which, when extra money pops up, it goes towards things that will actually benefit students in the pursuit of a better education.