So the SEA kids are trying to get us to subsidize their cause by giving $50,000 a year to a new “sustainability” board. Here is a summary of what the proposed $7.50 per semester fee would do. The Facebook event lists such worthy proposals as a “Green themed Pachanga,” “shower minders,” and “energy efficient exercise equipment,” whatever that means (It also lists improving DeisBikes twice, as if the writers were running out of ideas). Of course, these are only suggestions. The actual project has no specifics whatsoever, and depends on whatever students come up with after the fee has been passed. We don’t actually know whether this enormous pile of money we’re giving would have any real benefit, because there are no actual concrete plans.
I don’t like this at all. Firstly, I think it’s morally reprehensible to prioritize the sort of small improvements suggested on the Facebook over the livelihoods of Brandeis workers. Our university is in the midst of a particularly precarious financial time, and the administration has gotten rid of staff in addition to announcing a reduction of faculty by 10%. This money could save a job. I think it would be utterly despicable to spend more money on bicycles and Pachanga (which are already very well funded), when we could rally to save the livelihood of a Brandeis worker. Shame on SEA for prioritizing politics over people.
I also think this is an unfair way of pushing an agenda. All clubs have the same pool of resources to draw from, yet SEA is greedily attempting to squeeze more money out of students. Yes, I know, I know, Mr. Waizer, they’re not the ones on the board, and it’s independent. But it’s their proposal. In fact, the official summary linked to above bears ONLY the names of SEA members. And we all know what club’s members will have the best qualifications for a seat on the new board. It’s independent on paper, sure, but the entire proposal is being created and lobbied for by SEA, and serves their club’s purposes.
$7.50 may not seem like a vast amount, but it’s hardly negligible, and if other factions pick up on this method (as they should, if it works!), we might see a deluge of new fee plans. And why should the Environmentalists get money and the Labor people not? Why shouldn’t we have a special fund for the anti-genocide people or the AIDS groups or the Zionists? We can’t allow proponents of various causes to start levying their own fees on students, else we will erode the entire purpose of a communal fund. We really must get everyone out in force to vote NO on Monday. The fee should be optional or should not exist at all.