By Venkat Ramamoorthi
Mike Huckabee: $25,000
Event in Kendall Hall: 40 minutes
Closed door dinner banquet with members of the SGA and SFB: 90 minutes.
Apparently the SGA thinks that when they sponsor a speaker to come to campus they are doing it purely for their own enjoyment. The problem is they are using our tuition money to pay for their fun.
Prior to the Mike Huckabee speech in Kendall Hall the SGA held a closed door banquet dinner for Mike Huckabee in Loser Hall. The banquet lasted 90 minutes, more than twice as long as the actual event the SGA was funded to host.
I’m well aware that in many cases groups that bring speakers to campus go out with the speakers they sponsor. But in these instances there are key differences. The outing occurs after the event, not at the sacrifice of it. And it is an outing. In the Huckabee case tuition money paid for a private banquet on campus before the actual event.
To be fair there was a short time dedicated to a book signing in the Social Science Building Atrium for about 50 minutes after the banquet and before the event. The members of the SGA and SFB, however, kept the line of students moving faster than the Soup Man. After all, why should they care if anyone else talks to the speaker after they do?
How did all of this get the okay for funding? The SFB voted in favor of this course of events for this price tag. Looking closer reveals the answer. The SFB was invited to the private banquet and some its members were present there.
They used our tuition money to host a night of fun for themselves and the students got the leftover 40 minutes. This is unacceptable.