Column by Sarah Fulton
Fulton is a first-year news/Internet major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
After three attempts at drying the same set of laundry, I finally give up and hung the damp clothes off my roommate’s bed. While I am glad she is out of town so I have this opportunity, I would also love the chance to complain to her about the dryers.
It is perfectly understandable that dryers would get old and, in the harsh economic times, would not be replaced. However, with the seventh edition of Free Movie Fridays coming up, it seems less reasonable.
According to the Dec. 6 Student Senate Agenda, student activities fees were raised $7 a semester to $73. It came to light in the middle of last semester that Senate had a reserve account that was filled to capacity with excess funds from student fees. According to Will Thorton in an article for The Times-Delphic with the money Senate chose to spend $13,000 on pre-releases to be shown in Bulldog Theater every Friday night.
While student activity fees are reserved for student activities, as they should be, in the case of a sudden windfall an exception could be made. Of all the options they could have chosen that would have made the average student’s life easier, I do not see why they chose movies. I understand that free movies are awesome. I understand that the movies that Senate chose are awesome. Overall, I agree that the idea is a good one, but there are several flaws in the plan that make it unworthy of such a large chunk of change.
First, they picked Friday to show the movies. There are so many options of other events on Friday nights that the movies are not guaranteed a large audience. These cut into other events in a way that they would not on a Thursday or Sunday night. Second, Senate paid $3,250 to have free food at the movies. Would it not have been more cost efficient to have students fork over the $2 or $3 if they want popcorn? They are seeing the movie for free so asking them to spend a couple dollars on snacks does not seem unreasonable.
In the end, the money could be used better. Dryers are just the beginning. The printing system fails often and sends students into a blind fury trying to get their homework printed before class. Updating the Ecuts system or the printers themselves would reduce the number of pre-class panic attacks. The wireless internet connection needs help. On the weekends the WiFi is great but during the week there is sometimes not even enough connection to load Pandora. The corners of Olin 101 flood every time there is too much rain.
In the end I just wish the money had been spent on something that would have benefitted students in the long term. What is done is done, but in the unlikely event that Senate ever finds themselves with such a windfall again, I would hope they would broaden their outlook.