Dear readers,

Student Fee Review Board deliberations are done, and, once again, we have been hosed.

I am sure you remember our coverage of ASUNM’s president Jaymie Roybal’s bike-share program. In case you don’t, here’s the short and simple of it: The program would provide 47 bikes at the cost of $300,000.

Some quick calculations reveal the total cost of each bike is right around $6,382. Keep in mind these 47 bikes would hypothetically serve about 23,000 students on campus.

Thus, each bike would, hypothetically, serve about 490 students.
Granted, only $50,000 of that money came from student fees, but didn’t GPSA Chief of Staff Japji Hundal state, “We have to be judicious in every dollar we spend, regardless of how much an organization requested. Just because they requested a small amount doesn’t mean we should automatically fund them”?

I agree with Hundal. Just because $50,000 isn’t a lot for students to bear doesn’t mean that we should have to. It also doesn’t matter that the funding is conditional. If it isn’t serving the students’ best interest now, or later, we shouldn’t have to pay for it.

Let me qualify my criticisms and say I don’t know all the details of the bike-share program, but neither does half the student body.

If this program is going to work, there should be more research, and ASUNM should share that research with all its constituents.

Moreover, readers, the group that has the most potential to do the most good for the campus, in my humble opinion, received a pathetic amount of funding.

Information Technologies provides you with a printing allowance, campuswide wireless Internet, and the software you use on campus. Last semester, IT gave us MatLab for free. This program normally costs about $100 for the student version. IT requested $128.34 per student, and, instead, it got $16.39 per student.

GPSA President Katie Richardson argued the administration should pay for some of what IT requires, and that students shouldn’t have to foot the bill. And she may be right, so let’s run a quick experiment.

One of the programs IT won’t be able to provide now, Adobe Photoshop, runs about $188 (Academic Superstore) for the student version. According to Moira Gerety, the deputy chief information officer for IT, the requested student fees of $128.34 per student would have allowed for streaming of Adobe and Microsoft programs.

I would have preferred to pay $128.34 and then get Word, Photoshop, Excel, InDesign, Premiere, and Powerpoint rather than paying an additional $60 for just Photoshop, but that’s just me. However, I am now footing the cost for programs that my professors expect me to have and use, so, thanks?

That said, this doesn’t just affect journalism and English majors, such as myself. How about the photography program, or media arts, or advertising, or business? And what about the advance stats software for which students in the hard sciences will have to foot the bill?

And it seems to be pure madness to me that we are entering the technology age, as our professors love to remind us, yet most classrooms have few outlets. Unless students go to class armed with surge protectors, which I have considered, the four or six outlets are quickly used and everyone else with a computer is screwed.

For reasons such as these, IT would have made it a point to get more outlets around campus.

So I might have been preemptive to say we were hosed. I guess that’s for you to decide, but something certainly seems wrong when technology isn’t given the funding it needs and funding is given to a program that hasn’t been proven useful to students.

Chris Quintana