Letter to the Editor
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According to a recent article published in the November issue of the Eagles Eye, the student council has a budget of $173,482.74. This money is acquired through student dues, mandatory fines exacted from every student. These funds allow student council to schedule events. They help clubs attend conferences, buy senior gifts, and fund activities for the student body.
These dues are extremely important for the student community as Sierra Nevada College. The college caters to active people pursuing an active life style and student dues allow the school to provide certain trips and adventures that may be impossible for anyone living on a budget to experience without some financial help and planning. These events create a sense of community on campus and, at least for this student were a major selling point when applying to the school.
As an eighteen year old high school graduate few things drew me to this institution more than the promise of free white water rafting trips and free ski days. Since I began attending SNC I have skied opening day at Mammoth multiple times. I watched the Celtics crush the Kings in Sacramento, and I have fallen out of a raft on the American River. Most students here have similar stories arising from events funded by those student dues.
Because of these stories I have always been satisfied with the way my money was being used. The amount of activities seemed large enough and varied. I was amazed that in a single month I could participate in anything from a nacho tour around Incline to a fine dinner and dance at the Ritz Carleton or the Hyatt. The latter never really appealed to me, but that is the way events must go, and there are always so many other options I never worried about missing a single event, or how much of my contribution to the student counsel fund was being spent on a single dance, or the three put together.
Then I saw the numbers. According to the Eagles Eye, $63,500 or, if my math is correct, which it often is not, 37 percent of each student’s dues is being spent on these dances. I briefly spoke to a member of student council about the expenditures. What I gleaned from the conversation was that these dances allow students who would, during normal college life, never have a chance to wear a suit, or eat a forty dollar dinner. And while I am all for pretending to be high class for a night, I do not believe this cause deserves a $63,500 investment.
It may be tradition that dictates the need for these expensive extravaganzas. This money may have been spent with the best intentions, but this school is not Harvard. It is not UConn or Brown or Oxford. This is Sierra Nevada College, a completely unique entity in the Woods of Tahoe. We are a collection of individuals who wear snow pants to class and ride Diamond Peak not only when we have days off, but when we have hours off.
I am astounded by the potential of $63,500, and believe wholly in the creativity of this student body. The options are endless. A fleet of snowmobiles to supplement a back country skiing class is my $63,500 dream. What’s yours? And am I wrong to assume that not one of us, $63,500 in hand, and the ability to benefit an entire community, would choose to purchase three nights in a ball room, a slew of steak dinners and drink tickets?
By Junior Ben Currier