We Are Well Endowed
Vice President and Treasurer Karen Sisson was the first guest of the day. According to Sisson, as a result of the financial crisis, Pomona’s endowment fell $600 million to $1.3 billion between June 30, 2008 and June 30, 2009. Over the past year, though, the endowment has far exceeded expectations, growing at 13.4 percent to reach $1.6 billion, meaning our endowment is over $1 million per student. Half of the operating budget comes from income on the endowment, while 40 percent of the operating budget comes from student costs. And who could’ve guessed it? Student costs will once again rise next year to over $53,000, marking a 3.47 percent increase in fees, which Sisson called “almost cosmic.”
She’s Not Bitter
Sisson finished off her visit by discussing the letter posted in the dining hall concerning an incident involving Assistant Vice President of Facilities and Campus Services Bob Robinson. With very carefully chosen words aimed at a select group of students, Sisson said, “We need to be respectful of each other. Don’t go making allegations unless they’re proved. Seek justice and facts. Don’t make accusations without a basis. And treat other people the way you want to be treated. Until we embrace that ethic, we’ll have words flying all over the place, and words hurt—both for those who they’re against, and for those who use them.” And they wonder where the rumors of “intimidation” come from…
Me So Hungry
Up next, General Manager for Dining Services Glenn Graziano and Sustainability and Purchasing Coordinator Samantha Meyer fielded questions from the Senate. In response to the vocal anti-Meatless Monday campaign being waged largely by the editors of TSL, Graziano said, “I’m not afraid of failing…. I do like trying out new things.” Hey, we could use a new Frozen Yogurt machine if you’re interested, Glenn.
The Campaign Continues
Graziano notified the Senate that numbers at Pomona’s dining halls have dramatically increased since the new in-house Dining Services team has arrived. On one day alone, Frary served a record 3000 meals. I’m willing to venture that it wasn’t on a Monday.
“All My Altruism Just Went Out The Door”
Finally, Freshman Class President Robert Chew asked about the possibility of a program through which students could take their leftover meals and donate them to the homeless. This would be in addition to the already existing Food Rescue Program, which gives leftover food in the dining halls to the homeless. In response, Associate Dean of Students Neil Gerard offered the 11th Commandment in a booming voice, “Thou shalt not make donations out of your meal plan!” He then informed Chew that most students don’t use all their meals in a given week, and that this fact is accounted for in figuring out the cost of the meal plan. Giving away extra meals would result in increased meal plan costs. Chew quickly became far less generous and far hungrier.