OPINION | Wine tasting brings out grapes and gripes

Wine is supposed to leave a bitter taste in one’s mouth, but the way Student Government Association and class officers spend student activity fees shouldn’t.

The Collegian previously reported in “SGA allocates extra funds for class officers” on Sept. 28 that SGA added $4,000 this year to the amount of money that class officers can spend on their events.

Chris Beaman, senior class president, cited the senior wine tasting as one of these events.

So when it came time for class officers to promote a supposedly bigger and better senior wine tasting, I foolishly expected to see an event marketed that included a larger number of Butler seniors than last year’s tasting, since the class had $1,000 more dollars to spend on it.

But class officers sold only 84 tickets at $15 each for the wine tasting—20 of which were reserved for the Mortar Board, a group that pays $750 to co-sponsor the event.

Butler’s senior class, however, is made up of 934 students—11 times the number of tickets that class officers sold.

Beaman said several seniors have expressed concern about the number of tickets that were sold but explained to me via email that one of the reasons so few tickets were sold for the wine tasting is because every drop of wine at the event is donated  to the class free of charge.

So why couldn’t the senior class expand the event this year to accommodate more than 84 seniors, especially considering the wine is free, they had $1,000 extra dollars from SGA, $1,260 from combined ticket sales and $750 from Mortar Board?

As I look further into the SGA budget, it seems to me like the seniors’ still-undecided class gift to Butler should be a brand new batch of calculators for the people who are in charge of allocating the $703,752 in student activity fees each year, since it seems relatively clear that the ones they have now aren’t working.

There was a missed opportunity to use class money on a class event.

There was a simple way for the senior class officers to have expanded it.

Invite more people, which would have expanded ticket sales revenue, and pay the wine distributor to supply more wine using the extra $1,000 from SGA.

Few seniors will actually be attending the wine tasting so it was ridiculous to market this as a true senior class event, especially when those in charge had an opportunity to expand it when they received increased resources.

Beaman said that the wine tasting traditionally is the largest event for the senior class, and that he and his officers have no plans as of yet on how they’re going to spend what he estimates to be around $4,000 more dollars that is allocated for the senior class.

This money either should be spent on an expanded wine tasting in the spring or some other class event that can accommodate a crowd that is larger than 84 people.

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