Student government may want to consider being careful when spending money
December 1, 2016
At Tuesday’s Student Senate meeting, an allocation of $2,000 was passed to pay for an artificial holiday tree standing approximately 12 feet tall to be placed in the University Center this semester.
This cost of the tree seems like a bit much, especially when considering some of the alternatives. During the meeting, one student senator pointed out that a similar pre-lit tree could be purchased at Walmart for around $300.
$2,000 is a lot of money that could be spent somewhere else. There seems no logical reason why this tree needs to be purchased from Balsam Hill, a company from northern California, rather than somewhere that might offer a better price. Why not see if any local businesses could provide an artificial tree?
Let’s be clear. We’re excited that Student Senate wants to help campus celebrate the holidays. The tree will absolutely bring a happy holiday spirit to the University Center, and as j-term nears it will undoubtedly increase our excitement about finals being over. It can serve as a friendly reminder that only a few weeks remain before a lot of us can be home with our families. The tree is not the issue here.
The issue is how quick Student Senate can be to spend large amounts of money like this, even when viable alternatives exist. According to the university’s website, Senate gets just over $4 in segregated fees from each student at UWRF this semester. Looking at official enrollment numbers, that’s just over $24,000 alone, and that’s just part of the funds that Senate has to spend.
The tree is just one example. We urge Student Senate to think more carefully about how they spend their money. We trust the members of Senate to use our segregated fees and remaining student organization money responsibly. We want to know that Senate has our best interests at heart as students when thousands of dollars are being spent.
Events like the It’s On Us Week of Action are amazing. Why not support the raising of awareness for another cause or give back to the community in some way to add to the holiday spirit? So much good could be done for the cost of one overpriced fake tree.