The Winston Room, normally packed for events like movies or comedians, had a different audience Wednesday night.
At 7 p.m., students and delegates of the Thelomathesian Society gathered for a panel focused on the Recession task force group that has met over the past week. The purpose of the panel was to provide information and answer questions that students had about how the University will decide to spend its revenue over the projected goal of five years.
Nick Ormasen of Information Technology gave an overview of the campus revenue and spending statistics. As of now, 67% of revenue comes from student tuition, 11 % from investment/Endowment, 12% from private gifts, and the last 9% from other sources. On the expenditure side of things, 58% of revenue goes towards the salary and wages of teachers and staff, 7% goes towards business, 7% goes towards Plant services, 5% to supplies, 2% to the bookstore purchases, and the rest are various other areas. Ormasen declined to comment on the actual discussion of the task force as they are still simply in the process of collecting information and have not yet made any informed suggestions. However the goal is to “continue the St. Lawrence legacy without diminishing quality and service.”
All sorts of questions were raised including concern for the lack of attention to the heating issue in many dorms around campus and keeping funding in order to continue to provide excellent study abroad program options. However, the topic of maintaining a respectable level of diversity seemed to be floating through everyone’s minds. Chairperson Simon Lynch ‘10 stated that,“ it is important to retain elective courses, especially ethnic studies because these fields allow students to broaden their horizons and learn from a global perspective, not just from the campus in a small town.” Wesley Webb ’11 also mentioned that it is necessary for the campus to “not just advertise diversity, but to uphold the standard of remaining a diverse campus.”
It is clear that the students here at St. Lawrence know what they want and are determined and confident enough to speak up in order to get their voices heard. As Thelmo President Hassan Raza stated during the discussion, “the students of St. Lawrence are the customer and the product.” There is no doubt that no matter what the task force decides is right for this campus, the students will always be open to provide guidance along the way.