The Church Street Memo

This would be a real memo if Jerry Rinehart were honest with University students.

It took some work and some questionable tactics, plus a bribe or two, but I got the latest memo from Vice Provost for Student Affairs Jerry Rinehart regarding how he intends to change the fees process. It’s necessary to reproduce it in total here:

Top double secret!

To: My lapdogs

Dear Student Services Fees advisory committee,

As my handpicked hacks, we need to get things straight before we faked a discussion on changing the fees system.

Last year was a disaster for us. Some conservatives actually got on the administrative fees committee and tried to save the students money. This was intolerable, in that all of our special projects had their funding threatened, and I had to completely overrule the committee on almost every recommendation. We must stop this nonsense.

I thought giving those damn Reaganite lapdogs $5,000 for their precious “family values” group would shut them up. I guess we’ll have to take stronger measures to make them a “silent” majority.

We take more than $500 a year from students in fees that we label “services.” Typically 80 percent of students never utilize these services; just remember that the fees money pays for things the administration wants but doesn’t want to pay for. So it charges the students. This is also how we can pretend-keep our tuition lower and tell the Legislature that we are making good fiscal decisions. It’s nice because no one cares what the students think.

Except those conservatives. We’ve been battling them and their “fiscally responsible” ways for some time now. My predecessors changed the process to avoid their input, but they don’t give up. It’s time to change the system again. The “talking points” should simplify what’s to be said. Basically, we no longer leave the taxation of the students up to their review; it’ll be automatic.

Remember these few things when we meet next week at that undisclosed location.

First, in an effort to keep tuition and our annual budget low, I intend to put air-conditioning expenses, toilet paper costs and the math department on student fees.

Second, we need more reasons to prevent conservative groups from getting funding. Could you imagine the havoc that would ensue if conservatives actually received as much money as our liberal groups?

Third, if we can find a way of keeping the public from finding out about these changes, the better. In the summer, noone pays attention, but let’s make sure my secret memos are kept away from certain media people or that blogger. Remember, those letters of recommendation aren’t signed, yet.

Sincerely,

Jerry Rinehart.

This isn’t a real memo from Rinehart. It would be if Rinehart were honest. I’ll also admit that this fees stuff is a little too “insider” for many people to care. The administrators and most students are ignorant and apathetic – a good combination for them.

This aggravates me more when Rinehart feels the need to change the process so people like me, who know the administration is being irresponsible with your money, are taken out of the process. One column is not enough so. I’ll leave you on this note: It’s your money. They rely on your apathy. Don’t let them.

Marty Andrade welcomes comments at [email protected]