Friend-of-the-Lamp Laura Donovan quotes yours truly, in today’s Wildcat article on the continued push for a PIRG fee. The arguments that made the final cut have already been spelled out many times here, along with many others; those readers who aren’t familiar with last year’s battle should spend a few minutes in the archives.
More interesting was the quote that Donovan got from the PIRG organizers themselves (emphasis added):
“The proposed fee is $1.50, but students who don’t support the program could get their money back,” said Whitney Kraner, UA’s PIRG campus coordinator.
Students would have to go through a similar process to get their money back as they would to get the money back for the Student Recreation Center fee.
This makes perfect sense – because none of the fees paid to the Rec Center are refundable unless “dropping to 3 units (bond) or 0 units (programming).” The $7.12 “programming fee” was initially ‘refundable’ (so long as you were willing to appear before a committee to have your case “approved”), but after so few students even came to get the refund form (shocking!) the fee was changed into a mandatory one. The refund form no longer exists – should we expect the same from PIRG? Even those fees that are ostensibly “refundable” – ASA and KAMP – prove much harder to actually refund than Kraner’s blithe assertion suggests.
Meanwhile, Donovan also includes this detail:
Today’s theme will be “Arrgh you ready for social change?” There will be a volunteer dressed as a pirate.
“We’re robbing you guys – get it?” Pirates, however, had the good sense to offer their mates fair compensation; PIRG, not so much.