Dear Student Forum: I want my five dollars back

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By Samantha Tyler

On October 10, Student Forum voted to purchase a 90-inch TV to hang in Reamer, replacing the beloved campus calendar—as if we are not already constantly bombarded with emails and other digital updates about everything going on around campus.

Personally, I’m tired of being told what new changes are being made to “improve” my Union experience. I don’t care how modern all of the new TVs make our campus look. Our campus’ beauty is a result of its oldest and most classic-looking features, not the most high-tech.

Apparently, some believe the TV will appeal to prospective students, giving them the impression that our campus is modern and up-to-date. Other schools Union competes with for top students may have these huge TVs, and they may even use them successfully. But here at Union I see an unsuccessful future for the TV, especially since the niche has already been filled by the campus calendar. To prospective students, it exemplifies the diversity of events hosted at Union, giving them an idea of the types of students that go here and run the events. To current students, it acts as the only hard-copy list of prevalent events on campus to keep in mind amongst the sea of emails and digital calendars—not to mention the anticipation some students feel for each month’s intricate calendar and the appreciation for those that make it.

Tour guide Rachel Magin ‘14 says, “All of my tour groups comment on how unique the calendar is. Union already has too many TVs; the calendar is one of a kind.” Think back to when you were visiting Union for the first time, or your first weeks as a student here. Do you remember seeing the campus calendar, stopping in the middle of the hustle and bustle, and reading what events to expect in the upcoming weeks? Now imagine a smaller, digitalized copy of this calendar, appearing only periodically between broadcasted sports updates and political and stock information. Would you stop and wait for the calendar to appear to glimpse the upcoming campus activities? I wouldn’t.

There are so many other ways this money could be spent to actually benefit the student body. Jasmine Roth ‘14 says, “Perhaps this funding could be put towards a better projector and screen in the Reamer auditorium, which desperately needs updating to benefit both classes and student activities hosted there.” I’ve also heard other suggestions, including a Red Box on campus or some other way to rent more recent movies than those available in the library. I don’t think anyone would object to spending our tuition on bumping up our Sodexo plan to a higher level, or keeping the sushi bar or Ozone opened on the weekends. I’m sure if asked, the students of this campus could provide Student Forum with a plethora of ideas.

Supposedly, the money used to purchase this TV comes from a fund that Student Forum must decide what to do with and must benefit the entire student body. This requirement makes complete sense. It is also understandable that Student Forum makes the decision, since they, as a group, represent the student body. However, why don’t the representatives ask their respective classes for their opinions? It is, afterall, our money being spent to ‘benefit’ us. To refute the claim people may make that no one would care enough to voice their opinions, perhaps the fact that this TV costs about five dollars from each of our tuiton bills will convince them otherwise. When was the last time you spent five dollars (not from your declining balance) on something without thinking about it first?

 

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