Free stuff is never free

When was the last time someone told you that free stuff was bad? What’s that? No one ever has? Well, sit back and take this in. I am sure that you all think you love free stuff – I know I sure do. I snag all the free tchochkes, water bottles, t-shirts and coffee I can every time I stroll through the Davis Center. But have you thought recently about where all the cash to pay for all that free stuff comes from? You got it, your pockets. As you may know, UVM is planning to increase tuition next year by 5.8 percent. What you might not have known is that UVM is only increasing its financial aid allowances by 2.2 percent, leaving many of the students who rely on financial aid floundering in debt. Of course, a major research university needs funding for expansion and upkeep, but what else is UVM doing with the 163,780,581 net dollars they rake in from tuition after financial aid? Well, as The Cynic has noted before, UVM spends $14,000 a year on the Naked Bike Ride. The University also spends $12,000 more on DC delirium, a carnival-like enterprise in the Davis Center which provides free everything, including t-shirts, food and oxygen tanks. Now, I’m all for President Fogel providing a free legal buzz, but where should we draw the line? The tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars used for free stuff could be contributing to making our college education better, or at least cheaper. Sadly, UVM seems to think that in order to become better, it has to sacrifice. Instead of sacrificing the Summer U sunglasses, they are letting the students, and sometimes just the students’ parents’ wallets, take care of things. Well, I’m here to say the spending has to stop somewhere. No one will really miss the silly hats, bendy straws or candies. They certainly won’t be disappointed if there are no more 52-inch flat screens bought to display club fliers in the Marché.  These expenses just seem childish and are only helping of the more expensive public four-year universities to become even more expensive. The $55 million spent on the new Jeffords building, and the ten 10 million more being spent on renovations may seem necessary, but should be an excuse to raise prices. And don’t even get me started on the $4,834,838 spent on sports scholarships every year. God knows why your ability to run fast has anything to do with your financial well-being. In the end, I find it incredibly hard to justify this huge tuition hike when UVM squanders its money on balloons and party favors.