In these tough economic times where families are making daily sacrifices in order to maintain their standard of living, it’s hard to imagine spending a superfluous $5 on a latte let alone an amount equal to some yearly salaries on a non-essential item.
But many recent A.S. meetings have been host to an astonishingly unnecessary plan, that of spending an estimated $35,000-$40,000 on a so-called Matador statue.
‘One of the things we are working on now is taking up a program that has been in the planning stages for a very long time, the plan for the Matador Statue. We believe that it’s important for the university to have a statue to represent our campus and our school,’ said A.S. President Miguel Segura in a recent interview with Daily Sundial staff reporter Adolfo Flores.
Though their sentiments seem sincere and their hearts may in fact be in the right place, it seems their heads are not. Has no one alerted the group governing our school that perhaps the expenditure seems extraneous?
It’s baffling to think that these students have failed to recognize the condition of our national, state, and local economies. The consequences of money mismanagement have been splashed on the front pages of every newspaper as of late, yet it seems our school has yet to learn to prioritize its spending.
Statewide educational budgets are fit to burst, money is taken away from the students at every turn and extracurricular activities are losing funding, yet we are still willing to throw away five figures on a block of stone, a touching tribute to our past and future, but of no help to us at the present.
‘We want it to be a gift to the students for the 50th anniversary of the school,’ said Segura in the same interview.
Though the aspirations of A.S. are noble, no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to get excited about a statue. I’m sure it would be a beautiful addition to our picturesque campus, but I can’t think that I’m in the minority in questioning an inanimate object’s ability to promote school spirit.
Rather, I think spirit comes from the students who cheer on their fellow Matadors at sporting events, those that celebrate our Greek system and join CSUN clubs. It exudes from those who donate their time to make our campus a diverse and constantly growing community. It comes from living breathing Matadors and their personal stories, not a metaphorical stone tribute to our character.
The allocation of funds to such a statue does not deem A.S. irresponsible with funds. They award different groups money, they finance integral programs, and care for the school’s financial well being. It doesn’t make them irresponsible. It makes them out of touch.
By erecting a $40,000 statue rather than allocating those funds to underfunded programs, school technology, supplies, anything else really, they may just find themselves receiving the opposite reaction of what they desire. Rather than inspire spirit, I can’t help but think they will inspire frustration in students who see their tuitions ballooning while the school spends vast amounts of money on unnecessary endeavors.
In more prosperous times, a statue celebrating Matador spirit would be a welcome addition to the beauty of our school, but the reality of sky-high gas prices, national debt, educational budget cuts, and increasing tuition costs, among other things, combine to make it a less than desirable climate for such an extraneous expense. That is to say: Not never, just not now.