As students for liberty, we are generally opposed to government in all its forms. Federal, state, and local governments all find unique ways to take our money, grow their power, and restrict our freedom while failing to show even basic competency. However, rarely is a government as needless, wasteful, and petty as a student government.
Most student governments are funded by student fees, a tax or surcharge levied on all students in addition to their tuition. These fees are mandatory and usually automatically collected via the tuition payment process. Most students never notice that line item on their bill and wonder where their money is going. Rarely do they give a second thought UNR SfL Group to what their student government is and why it needs their money. Student government elections are notorious for having the lowest voter turnout of any electoral process.
The student governments then take that money and redistribute it as they like. Expenditures can include such things as special events, trips & junkets for their members, food for their meetings, campus improvements (rarely), and most importantly funds for student groups. These student bureaucrats are the gatekeepers to large pools of cash for student groups, cash which is usually distributed to their friends and cronies who helped get them elected (shocking, right?). Pro-liberty groups usually struggle to get a dime of their money back from these governments and spend endless hours trying to navigate the bureaucracy.
Now the University of Nevada-Reno Students for Liberty finally grew tired of the status quo and are fighting back, launching a campaign to abolish their student government, the ASUN.
The idea was simple. Show other students just how wasteful the student government is. The UNR SfL members would master the bureaucracy so they could obtain as much funding as possible. Then in deciding what to spend it on, they asked themselves, in the words of UNR SfL member John Russell, “What are the most ridiculous things we can buy with other students’ money?”
The answer: a festival. Not just any festival, but an Abolish the ASUN festival. It would have pizza. It would have a bounce house. It would have a mechanical bull. And it would have ponies. Yes, ponies.
The project took months to plan, and the UNR SfL documented every step on their website www.unrforliberty.com. They launched a petition to gather signatures in support of their cause. They made flow charts to show how complicated the bureaucracy was. They created videos of the process to show just how wasteful they were being:
Yesterday their plan came to fruition. The Abolish the ASUN festival occurred in all it’s pony filled glory. The event was covered in the school and local press. Visit http://unrforliberty.com/2010/03/abolishing-asun-makes-local-news.html for a full media roundup.
Here is the video of the event itself from the Nevada Sagebrush:
The Ablolish the ASUN festival goes to show that if you put your mind to it, anything is possible. The UNR SfL will have more pictures and video coming out soon. We’ll keep you posted.