SRU’s utilities budget seems a bit extreme

Published by adviser, Author: The Rocket Staff, Date: November 12, 2016

The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) awarded Slippery Rock University with a Green Star Professional Grounds Management honor award, with SRU earning 74 out of a possible 100 points across a wide variety of different categories.

While this is great for the university, considering it helps attract prospective students while they’re visiting campus, it also makes a person wonder just how much SRU spends on its utilities. According to an annual monthly budget report, SRU set aside $2,728,138 for the 2016-2017 fiscal year for utilities alone, having spent about 26 percent of that budget at $696,050 up to this point of the year.

Obviously, this has paid off for the university since it’s been honored with the PGMS award, and it looks great to have on SRU’s resume because it looks fantastic from a public relations standpoint. However, it is questionable why SRU puts aside nearly $3,000,000 per year to keep up with it.

Quite frankly, the school could be putting more money in other things. For instance, the Miller Auditorium which has been under “renovation” for five full years and is literally just an eye sore sitting across from Old Main that reminds faculty and students of both the theatre and dance departments that the administration does not really care about giving them a suitable environment to showcase their department’s hard work.

Instead, the dance department is left with Swope’s Recital Hall, which isn’t large enough to stage a full dance recital or production, or they’re forced to drive to Butler so their students can perform on an actual stage. Meanwhile, the theater department was literally thrown into the old University Union’s multipurpose room and was told to do their best at making a “stage” for the students to perform on. ┬áIn a nutshell, an entire generation of students from both departments will have gone without performing in a suitable environment that is provided by the university they attend, but this doesn’t matter to them because the grass is green and the quad looks pretty. While the campus’s beauty does aid in student recruitment, it does nothing to compensate for the numbers of music, theatre, and dance majors that we are turning off by implying that their majors and concentrations are less important by not offering them what they need.

Obviously, as a student, one would definitely prefer the campus being clean taken care of by the administration, but a $3,000,000 is a bit extreme. Students and faculty want to feel like they’re being taken care of by their administrators, and in some instances, lit doesn’t feel like that. Perhaps more effort can be put forth by the administrators, but it’s also the duty of the students and faculty to accept the hand they’ve been dealt and make the very best of it.


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