In response to “What do you love about UD?”
Managing Mosaic Editor
To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing in regard to a recent email that I, and my fellow seniors, received, titled “What do you love about UD?”
The email, part of the Senior Class Gift Campaign, begged for a graduation donation that would “directly impact [my] college, RSO, sports team or whatever UD cause [I] choose.”
While I understand your dedication to raising university funds to benefit student activities, I would first like to note that I am still a student at the university. This means that I, like every other student who walks along the monstrosity we are currently calling The Green, am paying a hefty sum of money to use your facilities, including your Registered Student Organizations (RSOs).
Your direct request for a donation forces me, and hopefully others, to question just how exactly you distribute tuition funds, state-funding and grants.
By claiming that tuition and fees for Delaware residents and out-of-state students only cover 35 percent and 83 percent of the cost of education, respectively, you raise the question of just how you are calculating the cost of education, without answering it.
According to “Operating Revenue, Expenses and Transfer,” a budgeting pie chart — lacking numerical values other than percentages — that describes your spending for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, 4 percent of your budget went toward “student services.” That is 4 percent of $1.02 billion, or $40.8 million, going toward, presumably, all student services.
No further breakdown of this data exists, as the university is only required to release finances that are listed on your Form 990. Additionally, all information from the Form 990 is from the 2016 fiscal year, as you have not released the 2017 data yet.
I would like to know what is included in this meager $40 million that goes to student services, and whether that includes funding for RSOs, Student Wellness and Health Promotion, Trabant Now, Perkins Live, to name a few. But your pie chart does not tell me.
Perhaps some of the $27 million you declared on your Form 990 from 2016 that went toward travel, or even your $44,000 that you gave toward lobbying, or maybe the near $2 million forked over for legal fees or, finally, the hundreds of thousands of dollars still being funneled into the hands of former employees, can go toward funding the operation of RSOs.
But, until those finances get sorted, I’m sure my $20.19 will be put to good use.
Besides, I’ll get a fun hat.
Forever indebted to you,
Jennifer West is one of the Managing Mosaic Editors at The Review. She can be reached at email@example.com.