Would you like
$250 $140? Right now? Free and clear? How about every quarter? Yeah, so would I. However, unlike most random hypothetical questions, I can actually deliver on this one. $250 $140 of your tuition per quarter automatically goes to special fees. However, saying as you don’t ever actively consent to this distribution of funds to various student groups, the ASSU would be in something of a legal snafu if they didn’t give you the option of taking the money back at some point. So they do. For the first two weeks of every quarter, you have the option of waiving the money you paid for special fees. It’s really that simple. You can get a refund for $250 $140 worth of special fees every quarter. The solitary attached string? The leadership of groups that get special fees are allowed to request a list of students who waived their fees and may bar those students from using their services. But that’s seriously it. Now some food for thought: what could I buy with the $750 $420 a year that I currently spend on special fees? Here’s my short list:
Seven Four trips skydiving
- One of those giant stuffed trees from the bookstore
- A romantic weekend in Tahoe
- My weight in marshmallows
- *Part of* The mens water polo team
- Parking for
my entire Stanford career ~two years
- A flight to somewhere very far away
30 17 cases of Two Buck Chuck
- Half an Ochem textbook
- An iPhone 17
3 2+ Dance Marathon pledges
- The worlds most hipster bike
- Someone to slap me when I procrastinate (could definitely use one of those right about now…)
As the season of special fees madness approaches and descends upon our fair campus, I feel like this is a useful fact to keep in mind – one that every member of the student body should really know about. In the meantime, however, here are some other general ideas about how I feel the special-fees/signatures process could be greatly improved:
- Each person can sign up to 5 petitions. That’s it. No being a signature slut. Those who have signed their quota are allowed to wear a sign around their neck indicating so, discouraging signature scavengers.
- If you pester me in the library while I am studying for a midterm, I should be allowed to light your clipboard on fire.
- Similarly, if you enter a residence with the intention of going door-to-door for signatures (YES I AM TALKING TO YOU, MACGREGOR-DENNIS CAMPAIGN), I should be allowed to fire water balloons/my nerf gun at you until morale improves and/or you depart with severely broken confidence.
- All groups seeking special fees should be required to participate in some sort of Great Stanford Challenge. The first things that come to mind include having to consume all the specials at TAP then sprint the Dish, bike around the Circle of Death at 10 am with no hands, recover a book from the South Stacks, attend Synergy’s sacrificial ritual to the pagan god of kale, finish an entire case of wine at Kairos, pass a Physics 41 midterm, friend-zone someone at Sigma Nu, have a meaningful conversation with a Nobel Laureate over coffee, and watch the swim team win their 192nd consecutive national title. Those with the best performances will be awarded the special fees they rightly deserve.
… Actually, come to think of it, that’s just a normal day at Stanford. Let me think on it more and get back to you one that one.
- The power of bribery should really not be underestimated while petitioning for special fees. I am implementing a new personal policy that I will refuse to sign any special fees petition without a reasonable incentive. I’m really not that hard to please. Things I’ll accept: girl scout cookies, serenades, a lap dance from Channing Tatum, a backrub, a cute puppy, a genuine compliment, the Westboro Baptist Church getting struck by lightning several thousand times, a guy running around White Plaza in a giant pigeon suit, Ryan Reynolds’ cell phone number, a lifetime supply of boba – hell, I’ll even sign your piece of paper for a cheap pun. But if you come up to me while I’m thoroughly enjoying a “Name of Girl I’m Dating” at Ike’s (seriously, it is the highlight of my week)… I WILL CUT YOU. Just don’t get in the way of my dirty sauce, that’s really all I ask.
- Do not petition for special fees and then turn around and tell me that I have to pay to go see your event. I just won’t do it. If I previously wanted to see your performance, I don’t anymore, if only on principle. I have already given you money. I will not pay you more money simply so that your group can go on a retreat and get hammered for 36 straight hours. Don’t get me wrong, I know that not every entrance fee in cases like these are directly used for group inebriation purposes, however I’ve simply seen it done so many times that my faith in the whole idea has been completely killed. If you want to have a sweet progressive with your group, that’s fine with me, but do it on your own dime. If you think you need more money to do whatever it is you want to do, then petition for it, and if you’re really, extra good that year, I might devote one of my five signatures to you.