Letter to the Editor: This year’s ASUU expenditures have not been out of line


In an attempt to clarify the distorted facts and inaccuracies of Mary Cobb’s April 19 letter to the editor (“Outrageous spending nothing new from wasteful ASUU”) I write to defend the Associated Students of the University of Utah, the role that this organization plays and the 2003-04 ASUU administration.

Cobb, a former member of this administration, asserts that ASUU is extravagantly spending “hard earned student money,” but upon closer examination, the expenditures of the current administration differ little from previous ASUU administrations and represent spending necessary for the ASUU offices and officers to function in their elected capacity.

ASUU has traditionally paid the cell phone bills of upper administrative officers. The fact that ASUU is paying the cell phone bills of these officers is nothing new, has never been denied and has never been muted. At no time did this administration ask Cobb to keep these costs secret. President Adrian Johnson and Vice President Anthony White stand by the expenditures that they have made this year and welcome students to visit them in their offices to discuss these expenditures as well as any other question or concern that they have.

As anyone who is familiar with ASUU knows, the ASUU offices have not undergone the extravagant redecorating that Cobb claims. ASUU has customarily purchased one new desk each year to provide for the wear and tear on office furniture that happens from year to year. The current administration continued this practice, purchasing one such desk that will surely serve members of ASUU for many years to come. The majority of the office furniture in ASUU is several years old.

ASUU takes pride in the office we occupy and we try to provide students with a presentable and comfortable office space to use. Anyone who has been in ASUU knows that it is not extravagant and reflects the practice of continually making small improvements as needed.

In response to other office expenditures that Cobb asked readers not to get her started on, I will gladly offer the facts and let the students decide if the expenditures were “extravagant.” The ASUU offices were painted during the summer, as the walls were badly in need of a fresh coat of paint, but no cost was administered to ASUU. This was provided by the Union, from which ASUU rents the space for the ASUU offices. In addition, the ASUU windows were tinted out of necessity at a cost of roughly $1,200. Previously to being tinted, the ASUU offices were unusable during the summer months as the heat and glare of the setting sun incapacitated these offices. The tint has allowed the ASUU offices to be functional all year long and will last for at least five years. The 2003-04 administration deemed this an appropriate expenditure that will benefit ASUU and its officers for many years to come.

We regret that Cobb feels that these expenditures are unjustified. Out of respect for Cobb, I will not discuss the circumstances surrounding her departure from ASUU and this administration, but felt a need to set the record straight on behalf of the Executive Cabinet. We have continually strived to serve students in the best capacity and look forward to concluding our term strongly.

Jeffrey Mathis

ASUU Chief of Staff

Junior, Political Science and Psychology