Students solve Bethel's financial difficulties

April 11, 2013 | 11 a.m.

Clarionion | Robin Banks

Students solve Bethel's financial difficulties

College students know how to survive on a shoestring budget, and a few have graciously offered Bethel free financial advice.

Bethel has fallen on financial hard times, and the future is fraught with uncertainties. Clearly, there will be cuts and changes, but the exact impact of this tighter budget is unknown. But we’re with you, Bethel! We know what it’s like to be penniless and in debt, and we support you 100 percent. As you approach the daunting task of determining our school’s future, we humbly and graciously offer our best money-saving suggestions.

1. Time to tighten belts — literally. The DC needs to go. Why produce sumptuous meals for students who are just as happy eating fast food? Instead of a pricey variety of dishes, serve a college student staple: Ramen noodles. An assembly line of noodle bricks, hot water and flavor packets will be more than adequate, and if nutrition value is a concern, provide a multi-vitamin for dessert. We students are more than willing to make this sacrifice — and for most of us, this wouldn’t even change our diet.

2. Trim the freshman dorms. You offer discounted triples now — what about quadruples? Quintuples? Octuples? A single room is more than adequate for 12 or 15 people when you string hammocks from wall to wall. This strategy can free up entire buildings — by this time next year, Getsch could be a four-star hotel, bringing in a modest but respectable income.

3. Digitize chapel. Instead of funneling students into Benson three times a week for our Christianity booster shot, make a podcast. At 10:15 students can stop wherever they are, tune in, sing along and listen to Pastor Laurel’s preaching — all through their headphones. Not only would this be more accessible to students off-campus, it would make Benson more available for rent by local speakers, recording sessions, weddings, poetry slams, bar mitzvahs — the possibilities are endless.

4. Sad to say it, sorry to see it leave — but the Cookie Tent has got to go. Not only is it a huge drain on expenses (there’s no such thing as a free cookie), it buys into our consumerist, Santa-worshipping societal norms. Student loans and the job market have long since crushed our belief in that benevolent fat man of the sleigh — we rely on God alone. As Bethel should. Keep your stories straight, Bethel, and cut costs by eliminating cookies altogether. Or, if you’re feeling generous, add a scoop of icing to the ramen.

5. To save on faculty spending, TAs should teach classes. They’re basically professors without degrees, with all the knowledge but only a fraction of the pay. Short-term, this would require extensive restructuring, but in the long term it would pay off. In, say, 10 years or so, each department could consist of just one professor accompanied by a swarm of teaching assistants — a surefire way to cut costs.

So there you have it, Bethel University. The students have spoken.


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