The Arizona Desert Lamp

Scholarship scheming and diffuse costs

Posted in Campus, Politics by Connor Mendenhall on 14 April 2009

One frequent defense of ASUA’s leveraged bet on a blowout concert is that “student government will be giving the excess money back to students in the form of scholarships. ” It’s smart marketing on the part of ASUA: your ticket’s not just a chance to see Jay-Z, but also a heartwarming good turn that will help out your fellow Wildcats. Or at least it will, if the event turns a profit.

But why should the profits go to a new scholarship program? Wouldn’t it make more sense for ASUA to put any profit back in its own budget and reduce the amount it spends from tuition dollars and bookstore revenue? This would benefit everyone–not just those who fulfill whatever milquetoast criteria the Senate decides to dream up.

Returning profits directly would allow students to spend them as they see fit. But this sort of fiscal responsibility is unlikely, since if student government keeps the cash and distributes it indirectly through a new scholarship program, they’ll get to take all the credit for creating it.

Socializing risk and concentrating benefits isn’t just a favorite pastime of the federal government. If this million dollar bet goes bad, every student will pay for it when ASUA dips into reserve revenue. But if it goes well, only a select few will reap the rewards in the form of scholarships–and ASUA will get the glory for distributing them. Get excited!

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3 Responses

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  1. mattstyer said, on 14 April 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Very interesting take, Connor. Worth thinking about.

  2. A. Hill said, on 14 April 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Now that’s how I was expecting the Lamp to react.

  3. […] Scholarship, approved. You can read about the proposal here, here, and here. Sen. Macchiaroli was the lone “nay” vote. Tagged with: Andre Rubio, […]


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