Letter to the Editor: In response to SGA’s referendum

ULM Hawkeye

I refer to the recently reported statements of University of Loui­siana at Monroe’s SGA president Brook Sebren (“ULM students vote against referendum to raise fees”).

Sebren claimed that if stu­dents voted against the referen­dum it was because they “only saw a number,” and were unable to “grasp the big picture.”

I feel that his statements are tell­ing of his views of students.

If we do not support the SGA’s financial proposals, it must be be­cause we are so buried under the weight of our own myopic igno­rance that we lack the capacity for comprehension of the “complexi­ties of budgets.”

The rhetoric to induce sympa­thy for the referendum, that ULM’s athletic budget is lowest among its Football Bowl Subdivision, is in­dicative of the spending race that characterizes off-track budgeting priorities.

What wasn’t revealed is that on a per capita basis, athletic spend­ing in the Sunbelt is already four times more than academic spend­ing, and athletic budgets have slowly expanded over the years while academic spending has stagnated.

It is unacceptable to belittle the intelligence of the studentry that voted down a proposal to essen­tially raise their tuition in order to expand the athletic budget by 25 percent, when our academic pro­grams continue to disintegrate due to budget cuts.

I voted no to the referendum because I will always first consid­er the impact on academics of any new spending measures.

Academic programs historical­ly and demonstrably do very well when they are properly funded (and respected). Sadly, the same is not true of sports programs.

Joseph Roberts

Senior at ULM

(Original Letter to the Editor was published on the News Star’s website on April 26, 2011.