So you think the party scene and student groups at Harvard could do with a little improvement. The Undergraduate Council agrees--as long as it's no skin off its back.
The Council now allocates $40,000 for student organizations and social events and reserves $20,000 for administrative costs, such as xeroxing, office supplies and bookkeeping. In its search for more money to address student concerns, the Council opted not to disturb any of the $20,000 it budgets for itself. Instead of shifting its budgetary priorities to reflect its social goals, the Council chose to pinch students harder--doubling the term bill fee to $20 per undergraduate.
But that leaves more than enough funds for the Council to amuse itself--at this point, major costs like file cabinets and assistants to fill them with paperwork only take up a small portion of the $20,000 budget.
With student's term bills now indulging the Council's infatuation with administrating itself, the Council will have plenty of room to creatively spend the rest of these funds. Because creativity is often anathema to large bureaucratic structures, here are some suggestions which go beyond the ordinary inventory of new and exotic (though still white) stationery.
The Council That Has Everything could order:
.Personalized soap boxes. The members could plead for a grant to their pet student group from atop their very own stands.
.Hand-held people meters for the members to rate the moving speeches of their peers. The meters could double as electrical prods to help Council Chairman Evan J. Mandery '89 tame wild debates. Or they could serve as magnets, to compel delinquent members to attend meetings they are missing.
.Laser-equipped staples to sear through the longest reports, recommendations, and otherwise unread reading material the Council produces.
.Gigantic foam mouths to make the faculty listen for once. After all, the Council distributed big fingers to show their campus spirit. As for big heads, there's no shortage of those on the Council.
.Resume Writers-an in-house staff to help Council members detail their illustrious careers in public service.
.Glass skyboxes to house the teeming multitudes of season-ticket holders who show up at the Council's weekly meetings. The boxes would have kitchens equipped with chocolate milk dispensers to attract more students. If these failed, there is always...
.Julia Child to prepare delicacies that would lure the most reticent students to Council open houses. Oreos don't seem to do the trick.
.An abacus to help the Council with the higher mathematics skills necessary to reorder their budgetary priorities.