It’s well understood that CSUN is not going to win any awards for “school spirit.” There is a serious lack of university loyalty around here, which is easily diagnosed but not easily cured. So, you can’t blame the Alumni Association and Associated Students for wanting to create a Matador statue on campus to drum up some CSUN pride. The only problem is, it will cost around $150,000.
Say something as inflammatory as “new $150,000 statue” to a CSU student, and you can usually look forward to an earful about the lack of funds in the CSU system. A.S. was reminded of that fact Tuesday when two students argued against the statue at the A.S. meeting. The economic responsibility to place education first is something people have on their minds a lot lately, and rightfully so.
Yet, maybe A.S. is not who we should be gunning for.
Only $10,000 of the funding for the statue is coming from A.S. This amounts to less than 7 percent of the statue’s total cost. The rest of the $150,000 is being funded by alumni donations. In the big scheme of higher education, $10,000 is hardly a drop in the bucket. Enter CSUN alumni.
It seems odd that during a time when students are dropping out of school because of impacted classes, $140,000 from alumni donations is being used to erect a bronze replica of our mascot.
In case you haven’t a clue how alumni donations work, allow us to run it down for you: People who have graduated from CSUN can donate money to the school, and these alumni have the power to choose where their donations will be used. They may choose to create a scholarship, or to build a new Performing Arts Center.
Perhaps those who would provide the money for the upcoming Matador statue contributed because they cherish the degree they received from CSUN, and they feel the best way to show their appreciation is to have a giant bronze statue of our mascot brought onto the campus.
But clearly, there are better places their money can be directed. More scholarships or donations for specific departments would be far more beneficial than a statue that would permanently symbolize the wasteful spending that has led to California’s draconian budget crisis.
Under no circumstances should we point fingers at the Alumni Association for their donations, especially since we can no longer depend on our own state to bail us out of our desperate financial crisis. The generosity of those who decide to give should be acknowledged, and it’s their right to choose where their money will go.
Some may want to build this statue out of a need to see their names engraved on a plaque. If that is the case, while we can’t say thank you, we won’t stand against you. Others are donating this money out of unmitigated charity and a true love of the university. If that is the case, we appreciate your generosity, but for the sake of students on campus, we beg you: please consider our priorities.