All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go

More needs to be done with the $1 million raised from student fees, quickly

On February 23, 2012

What would you do with a million bucks? By all accounts, if you're smart with investments you can live well for the rest of your life if you put it away, but many of us would probably buy ourselves a nice new car, or a big ass television.

If there was a pie chart of what people would do with that much cash, most people would go for the "keep it" slice. Although the "give it to charity" slice seems like a good candidate for the smallest percentage of the chart, another decision would probably beat it.

The "do nothing with it" slice would probably be smaller than a split hair. Right now, UB is among the group choosing to do nothing with a million dollars, but they didn't win it.

No they took it from you, as part of a fee instituted during the 2005-06 school year. It was a $3.50 increase to your health fee, which is part of the mysterious comprehensive fee.

Money collected was supposed to be used for a new student health center on North Campus. We need this pretty badly, as anyone who got sick and had wait outside for a bus to South while doubled over in stomach pain knows.

When our Assistant News Editor Sara DiNatale went looking for the money, she turned over some disturbing info: nothing has been done for this proposed health center. Literally nothing.

After waiting a week to respond, Vice President of Student Affairs told us that a committee was "just being formed" to review whether or not the Richmond Cafeteria would be a suitable place to put a health center.

Kind of sounds like when you forget to write an essay and you tell your professor that you're in the process of beginning to brainstorm an idea after you've had seven weeks to prepare.

Looking around our campus, it's hard to believe that it would take seven years to just figure out the very first aspect of a plan. We have a brand new Computer Science and Engineering and Electrical Engineering building and a brand new dorm that went up very quickly.

Then, to add insult to injury, when we go looking for information about how much the comprehensive fee and health fees were in past years the SRC, more specifically the administrative assistant of student records and financial service Brenda Reed, refused to hand over a simple piece of information.

Their reason: because we've "burned" them too many times. Maybe the SRC forgot that our university is a public institution. Not only would that information help us provide a more complete picture of the health center project to students, but we are entitled as citizens of this state to that information.

We don't want to think that the school cares more about advancing UB 2020 than actually looking out for the students, but what else are we supposed to think? Buildings that are designed to keep the student population growing go up as fast as can be, but a project intended to make our stay here better and more healthy is almost instantly forgotten about.

All we would have liked to see was a plan that could be set in motion. We're not expecting a miracle, we know it's not easy to build and create new things.

But, come on: there is nothing done? Just an idea of where it might go that probably won't work.

Yet the money keeps coming in.


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