Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I had a visitor from one of our student service areas in my first year class today. The idea is that the visitor, a student who's had some experience with the student service office, does a short presentation about the services offered by the office so that first year students learn about the services and (maybe) go take advantage of them.

All good. The student who came did a good job with the presentation. But then the student handed out little toys, sort of like little stress balls, but not. And a couple t-shirts. Okay, at least t-shirts might keep people warm and get worn, but little toys?

Let's imagine they each cost a couple bucks, and the service area buys say, 2000. That ends up being a fair bit of money off the top. We're doing budget cuts and the service area buys toys? We're adding extra students to most sections, and the service area buys toys? I know the money's not equal, but surely there's a better way to spend it?

And the toys. I imagine there are going to end up in the garbage pretty fast, filling the landfill. And that's if we're lucky. If we're not lucky, they'll end up in the gutter, or dropped on some floor, and someone will have to pick them up, clean up the floor, clear the mess. So not only have we wasted money on the toys, but we've wasted all the resources and poured an extra bit of plastic/foam stuff into the environment so that in 200 years, someone will be digging through a landfill and pick up the toy and wonder what sort of idiot paid good money for it.


  1. I hhhaaaate those little things. Our counseling center hands out wads of them every time they do a talk for us. I give them back. Once, though I did have a music faculty member who was delighted with the toy; it kept his fingers limber or something.

  2. And we plunge into even deeper debt to China...