Student Senate approves purchase of $3,785 bronze panther statue

The idea still has to go through several other entities to get funds for the statue’s commemorative plaque, base and concrete pad.

Executive+Vice+President+Derek+Pierce+%28right%29+defends+the+purchase+of+a+panther+statue+Wednesday+night+during+a+Student+Senate+meeting.+

Analicia Haynes

Executive Vice President Derek Pierce (right) defends the purchase of a panther statue Wednesday night during a Student Senate meeting.

Analicia Haynes, Managing Editor

The idea to buy a $3,785 bronze panther statue will now go forward after the Student Senate approved it  12-7 Wednesday night.

The statue, which will be funded by student fees allocated to student government, was met with controversy campus-wide regarding how it will be paid for.

Student Senator Patrick Delgado, who voted against the purchase of the statue,  said very few people in turn will pay attention to the statue.

“I just think there wouldn’t be as much of an impact (on campus),” he said. “If people aren’t even going to go to events, then I don’t think (the statue) is really going to propel us further into our school spirit.”

Student Senator Antonio Valdez said with the negative effects of the budget impasse still looming on campus, purchasing a statue would be frivolous.

“I can tell you that I personally saw the castle on the horizon and I nearly said, ‘That is the place I want to go’ and I think that we diminished that quite a bit,” Valdez said.

“We think too much about our mascot, and I think that if we were to include the castle we can promote just as much school spirit as (the statue).”

The reason Valdez said he voted against the statue was because he wanted to represent the students who did not want it.

Executive Vice President Derek Pierce said the statue would benefit students, whether it be by them taking a picture with family or helping the university market its brand.

“Every student is going to see a return on their student activity fee, rather than just an event where we pay a couple thousand dollars and (students) are unable to attend or just 100 students attend and the rest foot the bill,” Pierce said.

Pierce said the statues shows that students want to invest in the university.

“We believe in the school, we believe in its future, we believe that we will turn things around and we look forward to what the future holds for Eastern,” Pierce said.

Student Senator Ethan Osborne said the statue would be a great way to develop a leave a legacy in the Student Senate.

“This statue is a representation of a greater idea present beyond the six years, ten years….we are here,” Osborne said.

The idea still has to go before the Apportionment Board, the entity that distributes student fees to student government ; the Student Recreation Center and the University Board, to ask for funds for the statue’s commemorative plaque, base and concrete pad.

They will also ask for the money needed to pay for the labor associated with the installation of the statue.

Pierce said the statue will be completed either by the end of the semester or during the fall semester.

“A lot of it is dependent on the pressing projects on campus with the limited staff and the administration’s priorities,” Pierce said.

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]