How we choose to spend our money

As I was reading the online edition of the NY Times (10/4/03), I came across an article entitled “Jacuzzi U.? A Battle of Perks to Lure Students”.

The content of this article refers to the hundreds of millions of dollars that America’s colleges and universities are spending on the “necessary luxuries” to lure a generation of students with plush needs; an example being Washington State University’s Jacuzzi that can hold 53 people, they boast it being the largest on the entire west coast.

I have to admit, what really shocked me in this article was on the second page, the President of the University of Vermont, yes Mr. Dan Fogel himself, was quoted on his justification for this arms race in higer education: “These are not frills, they are absolute necessities.”

The article then went on to describe the 70 million dollar future project for UVM that includes a ballroom, a theater, and a faux pond for winter indoor skating. Now as many students have become uncomfortable about our school’s newly acquired corporate sponsership, it would have been reassuring to think that the money was going towards our much needed expences: livable wage for the workers of the school, lower tuition (as we are one of the most expensive public universities) or even financial aid.

This year the Financial Aid services apologized for its record low of available money to give to students. I think it is our duty, as the students and financers of this school, to find out where are money is going. Why can’t we find enough money to pay livable wage to the workers who hold this school together but we can find 70 million to build an indoor pond?

Why can’t we give enough financial assistance but find money to regrass the campus green? These are questions I have been struggling with and I hope you do as well. Thank you,Rebecca Watson Class of 2006