Last week, the University Park Undergraduate Association opted to spend $909.77 on 123 pizzas for the Penn State student Red Cross Club’s 19th annual Penn State-Michigan State Blood Donor Challenge.
While it’s nice of UPUA to want to help out another student organization, we have to wonder if this is really the best use of students’ money. This piece of legislation doesn’t include all members of the student body, but, Student Life and Diversity Dutch Markward said it’s a way UPUA to be promoted around the community.
These funds are misappropriated and UPUA should be using this money toward projects that have more significant, long-term benefits for students.
Though it’s important and a routine practice to have food at blood donor events, UPUA’s decision to spend hundreds on this food is unlikely to really result in a higher level of participation for this drive. With blood drives going on all year — not to mention plenty of other events happening all the time, many of which would likely welcome some financial help from UPUA — this also creates an issue in terms of consistency.
Will other blood drives also include food bought by UPUA?
What about other student organizations’ community events?
UPUA needs to be focusing on big-picture issues that are geared toward initiatives that better the student body beyond filling up their stomachs with pizza or lollipops.
But the decision to dish out money for the blood drive pizzas is questionable beyond just a matter of how valuable a use of money it is. This allocation of money takes up 45 percent of the diversity budget — and that’s a large sum of money to shell out on cheese and pepperoni. UPUA, because of these 123 pizzas, will be getting its logo on print materials, mailbox inserts, daily press releases, email updates and tee shirts given to each donor in the hopes of getting the “UPUA name out there,” according to Markward.
The best kind of promotion to get the name out there would be to build up their reputation through good work, important initiatives and positive policies that move the university forward. To really get its name out there, UPUA should spend less time focused on making sure students know its name and more time accomplishing legitimate policies and concrete projects that benefit the entire student body. Actions speak louder than words — and, as of right now, we need more positive action being taken in pushing through legislation that makes a legitimate, lasting impact. Hundreds of dollars for pizza is good as an indirect help for the blood drive, but, at the end of the day, this money draining the diversity budget, while going toward filling the stomach of blood donors and putting the UPUA logo on promotional items.