The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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All the blame money can buy

By Aaron Zundel

As everyone already knows, last year’s ASUU Presenter’s Office blew through its entire budget, as well as a $170,000 surplus. Then it blew an additional $66,000 it didn’t even have-all in the name of something called a “Kerfuffle.”

I’m joking, of course. The Grand Kerfuffle was an unprecedented success, drawing crowds the likes of which the P.O. has never seen and solidifying the legacy of those who put it together.

Which is precisely the problem.

The arrogant, egotistical disregard shown by those in the P.O. for their fellow students’ hard-earned money is a betrayal of the highest order, and some sort of consequence would be appropriate. Unfortunately, very few of those people who overspent our money are still around to punish.

Despite the excuses thrown around by those in the P.O., there is absolutely no defense at all for such a flagrant display of gross negligence. Now students must fork out even more of their money if they wish to attend (previously free) events on campus. However, I would like to take the time to point out that last year’s P.O. members are not the only ones to blame: The student body itself must shoulder some of the responsibility for this debacle.

The fact is that no one was up in arms about the P.O. screw-up until after The Chronicle printed the story last week-more than a month after the incident went public.

Yet, despite all the current outrage, students still haven’t taken action of any kind.

On July 20, 2005, The Chronicle printed an unsigned editorial (now eerily prophetic) cautioning against leaving the P.O.’s $330,000 budget in the hands of 19-year-old Andy Murphy. Regardless of that editorial, there are no accounts of anyone writing in or walking over to the P.O. to ask any questions. As of Monday, I’ve still not been able to confirm one instance of a student asking for a record of this year’s budget, either.

So my question to all of those angry students out there is this: What do you expect but disaster when you leave that kind of money unsupervised?

In a perfect world, we could trust that our (already outrageously high) student fees would be used responsibly by those who control them. This is the real world, however, and we as students can afford no such luxury. After all, it’s student government we’re working with here, and we can’t ask any more from them than we can from our state or federal governments-probably less, actually.

Students have a responsibility to monitor the way our money is spent, a responsibility to check accounting and make sure that nobody is screwing us. If we don’t, then we can’t complain when stupidity prevails and everything goes to hell. Nor can we expect anything to change.

Whether it’s a ludicrous Kerfuffle put on by the P.O. or an absurd study conducted in the College of Humanities, students need to begin asking more questions and taking more action. I’d suggest starting by marching over to the Union Programming Council (it’s in the Union). There you can demand Andy Murphy’s resignation (he’s still attending the U and is in charge of $6,000 of our money this semester), as well as insist that his scholarship (yes, he still has one) be revoked and put toward the ticket price of future concerts.

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