Mertes sparks ignorance

The Student Association senate and the rest of the student body are getting their chains pulled.

At the last SA meeting, Student Regent Jim Mertes alerted the senate to money the Board of Regents is “holding” amounting to about $5.9 million.

Mertes then reminded the senate that tuition this year is increasing to at least 5 percent.

This set off the senate on a crusade to take down the administration for holding money that should be used to lower tuition or give students more classes.

But there is something missing in this tidy scenario. Somebody forgot something about the money—it comes from bond revenues.

This is how they work. First, there’s a project for which the university has no money. To solve this problem, they sell bonds to people who will benefit from the project, hence the money for the project. Then they start the project.

Because the university sold bonds for construction projects, the money cannot be used for anything else.

To use the money for any other reason would be like telling someone you have a candy bar for sale and once they paid for it giving him a lollipop.

And the money cannot be used because the state put a hold on a number of capital development projects, the civic center being one of them, in Gov. Jim Edgar’s cutbacks.

So the money is untouchable. This is the quaint bit of information the senate either ignored or didn’t hear and that is where Mertes is at fault because he should have known.

It’s Mertes’ responsibility to inform the students as student regent, but he failed.

And this should lead students to question Mertes’ intentions.