Students’ surplus

Our standard policy is to avoid comparing legitimate representative governments like Congress to student bodies like the Student Services Finance Committee, but the parallels this week warrant an exception.

Earlier this month, President Bush signed a tax cut bill that will return some of the federal surplus to taxpayers. At this week’s SSFC meeting, student representatives had a similar opportunity.

Having inherited nearly $19,000 of surplus funds from last year’s fiscally conservative SSFC, the new, more liberal committee leadership tried its best to spend the money before it was returned to us students.

Rarely have we seen such a brazen attempt to spend student cash. SSFC’s brand-new chair, Lamont Smith, asked the committee to spend $4,000 on new SSFC computers and software, buy SSFC officers (including himself) a new laptop and buy $1,000 for office supplies like letterhead and binders.

Fortunately, reason prevailed at the meeting and the committee rejected most of the spending requests. (They figured they didn’t have space for $1,000 worth of binders.)

Smith also asked for — and was denied — a 15 percent pay raise. Smith told the committee that “sometimes you get what you pay for.” Students are already giving Smith $2,000 for his “service” – and, given his ill-thought out proposals at this week’s meeting, we cannot help but wonder whether a pay cut would be more appropriate.

The end result is that — despite the liberals’ best efforts — students will have some of the surplus money returned in the form of a credit in next year’s segregated fees. Like the federal tax cut, the refund will pale in comparison to the overall bill. But we’ll gladly take whatever we get.


This article was published Jun 20, 2001 at 12:00 pm and last updated Jun 20, 2001 at 12:00 pm


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