St. Cloud State students vote to save football program, cut into weekly beer budget

During their fall semester elections, St. Cloud State students also voted this past week to approve a $1.74 fee increase per credit hour to help fund a $500,000 shortfall in the athletic department for this fiscal year and a $600,000 deficit for the 2012 fiscal year.

Here’s what’s great though…

Students voted on two proposals. The first asked for a 74-cent per-credit-hour increase in student fees. That passed (in percentages) 62-31, meaning 7 percent abstained or didn’t complete the voting. The second proposal asked for a $1 per-credit-hour increase in athletic fees. That passed 58-41, meaning 1 percent abstained or didn’t complete the voting.

Now, let’s take a look at the economics of the vote from a student’s perspective. If a student takes an 18-credit load, that means his or her overall tuition will be increased by $31.32 per semester. More than one-third of the campus found that to be ridiculous.

What does $31.32 buy most college students? Here’s what I thought of off the top of my head…

– 2 cases of domestic beer

– about 8 medium cafe latte’s at Starbucks

– one half of an average textbook

– 3 1-topping pizzas with college special

– one half of a hoodie from the bookstore

– 2 full albums on iTunes

– dinner for 2 at Applebees with no alcoholic beverages

– 1 pair of blue jeans, on sale and with coupon, from JC Penney

– 2 24-pack condoms at Walgreens

– one-third of typical monthly cell phone bill

So, a large minority of students on St. Cloud State’s campus found that for $31.32 a semester, they could live without having a football team, which for that new price provides them hours of cheap fun on Saturday afternoons in the fall. I think St. Cloud State should now start to worry about investing a little more of its education budget in the economics department.

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