March 16, 2005

Putting the ‘Greed’ in ‘Degree’

With all of the events going on in national politics, the Personal Ian McGibboney Press has unfortunately neglected the political scene here at the University of Louisiana. So here is the latest word on campus politics:

LAFAYETTE (PIMP)--A proposal by the UL Student Government Association passed easily Tuesday, with students overwhelmingly voting to pointlessly jack up tuition.

By a vote of 1121-575, students approved Referendum 2, which asked full-time students to "assess themselves an extra $78 per semester, for no reason other than to make their tuition bills really huge."

SGA officials greeted the referendum's passage with extreme pride, calling it "a victory for the UL community." SGA president Katie Ortego said that the tuition increase will give the students a feeling of attending a more expensive school.

“LSU, UCLA, Duke, Harvard and Yale…what do all of these schools have in common?” she asked. “High academic rankings, national prominence and astronomically high tuition, that’s what. Your SGA simply put two and two together.”

Ortego contributed the success of the tuition hike to the student body's acceptance of previous tuition increases.

"The UL student population has, time and again, shown its enthusiasm for tuition increases. At first, we figured we had a tough sell. In Spring of 1999, for example, tuition for a full-time, in-state commuter student was about $928. But through years of promising such marvelous improvements as a five-story parking garage and a new student union, we were able to win hearts and minds."

One anonymous official added that even SGA began to wonder just how many more times they could get away with increasing tuition before students would begin to object. "But when we realized people would never consider the drawbacks of our proposals, such as the unrealistic idea of a parking tower on a back road or the new union taking several years to refurbish, we knew we could be bolder. So we decided to drop the pretense this time around and just ask for the money."

Despite the significant margin of victory in an election that garnered the highest-ever voter turnout, some students voiced skepticism over the pointless tuition jack-up.

"I can't believe that SGA was able to pull the wool over the school's eyes yet again," said an English graduate student who asked not to be identified. "Are students here really so near-sighted as to approve a useless increase in tuition? Such reckless and unaccounted spending threatens the university’s status as one of the best values in the region.”

Still, the student said, “At least they were honest. Such integrity is rare in any form of government these days.”

SGA officials declined to comment on where the new funds would be diverted, other than to make reference to a campus-beautification project.

"We find that the campus is at its most colorful during campaign week, with all of the candidates wearing their party shirts. We also find that SGA is at its most lucrative during campaign week,” said the unnamed official. “So to kill two birds with one stone, we have decided to hold new SGA elections every month. The newly raised funds will be used, in part, to purchase thousands of colorful campaign shirts, so that their presence may be felt on campus every day of the year."

The Big Three is already planning for its next election in April, in which students will be asked to consider two proposals: a $20 tuition increase to provide free issues of “TV Guide” on campus and a $45 increase for constructing new parking spaces in the Quad.

Note: The preceding column was satire. Don't you know me by now? Everything in it is fake, except for the Spring 1999 tuition figure.


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