Williams: Don’t complain about SA fees

The phrase "sponsored by mandatory student activity fees" is literally everywhere on campus. It's like all that incomprehensible gibberish car commercials cram into the last few seconds with a speedy voiceover. It's a constant, yet slightly annoying, comfort; we're used to it. Well, Geneseo, I have big news. That phrase only exists because we, as students, vote for it. Technically, we vote on whether or not we feel like paying the aforementioned fee, which was $85 this semester but may be raised to $100 in order to accommodate the lovely state of New York's budget buffoonery. Why anyone would legitimately protest this fee is beyond me, but apparently, it's happening.

Listing all of the activities, clubs, concerts, trips and opportunities that are funded by the Student Association would take up too much space for this little column to handle. To put it simply, SA does everything. From legal services to cultural groups to campus TV to Upstate Escapes and everything in between, SA funds all. Therefore, contemplating a vote against the activity fee is more than just "Ke$ha totally sucks, we should have gotten [fill in the blank of some probably-lame hipster band less popular than Ke$ha]." Cutting SA funding means fewer residence hall programs and far fewer student organizations and club sports. Really, we'd be left with nothing but class, cows and Campus Auxiliary Services food.

What would Geneseo be like without SA activities? I'll give you a hint: boring. Some of the only organizations left on campus would be fraternities and sororities, and those require a fee much greater than $100. If those are not your scene, you probably just wouldn't attend Geneseo at all.

Students come to Geneseo because it's cheap and bears a relatively good academic reputation. Students stay because they get involved in one or more of the hundreds of activities funded by SA. We're not a research school and we don't have the resources to provide a luxurious learning environment, all we have is this $100 contribution and a ton of motivated, enthusiastic and creative individuals to plan events for us.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm cheap. If I had to pay to write for this newspaper or go to mock trial practice or even attend a Late Knight activity, I would probably think twice before doing it. But if five years from now, a potential boss confronted me about my barren résumé showcasing nothing but a few good grades, I would have to explain that I was too broke to take advantage of extracurricular opportunities in college. Awkward.

We also have to keep things in perspective. A large chunk of us pay $10,000 a year to live in a 10 by 12 concrete box and eat overpriced rubber chicken for two meals a day; is $100 too much to ask if it means making our lives as resident students that much more enjoyable? And most importantly, no SA means no Lamron, and that would just be tragic.