The $64,600 question

Responsibilities, we all have them, to ourselves, our families, and yes even to our fellow GW students.

Little responsibilities such as moving your clothes from the washer to the dryer in a timely fashion are necessary so that those of us who were down to our last pair of boxers yesterday can do our laundry. Oh, would it be too terribly hard for you to remove your lint from the little screen? Thanks.

Then there are intermediate responsibilities like holding your friend’s hair out of the hippo’s mouth when they’ve had a few too many drinks and not laughing when they tell you they’re never going to touch the stuff again.

Lastly there are the big responsibilities, those responsibilities that you have to the entire student body. For most people this is limited to the simple courtesies of not freaking out during finals, grabbing a sniper rifle, and cutting loose on the Mid-Campus Quad. But there are those rare students who by accident or intention have found themselves a position as an elected official.

The Program Board has a responsibility to pick interesting movies for movie night. The Marvin Center Governing Board has to, umm, be a board that governs the Marvin Center. And the Student Association has to give out money to the rest of the student groups in an impartial manner.

What is the $64,600 question? I guess it’s something like “How is an operating budget of $64,600 fair to the rest of the student groups?” Last Wednesday, the Student Association Executive, which is the president and all his appointed little underlings or controllers, handed in its budget to the SA Senate for approval. This bulky document, one whole piece of paper (granted it is a legal-sized piece of paper) was its justification for $64,600. Not Canadian dollars, but United States of America dollars. Let’s take a look at this budget shall we?

Some of the first expenses are “office supplies.” Staples and ink – $5,000. Just how many staples does $5,000 buy? One million? Two million? I don’t know, I don’t think anyone knows. Do they use that much metal in an aircraft carrier? And what is all the ink for? Are they going to fill the pool in the Smith Center with it? Paper – $5,000. Has the SA discussed this with the Sierra Club? Where are the spotted owls going to live after the Pacific Northwest is flattened to satisfy this hunger for pulp?

Duplicator Lease – $6,600. What exactly is a duplicator? It’s not a copying machine because the SA is leasing one of those for another $6,000. What is there that one might need multiple versions of but not want copies of, instead preferring duplicates? All together that’s $12,600, and I have to wonder if the SA has hired Rob Schneider to run the copy room. Even if they have, the guy has been working with Van Damme lately, he should’ve come a lot cheaper.

Miscellaneous Office Expenses – $500. Now they’ve just spent $22,600 on enough staples to cover the Marvin Center, ink to fill a swimming pool, paper to warrant the destruction of acres of timberland, and a copier AND a duplicator. What more could they possibly need?

What else is there? Six thousand dollars for advertisements in The Hatchet. Uh-oh, would you look at that, oddly enough I’m at the end of my column.

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