Research has repeatedly shown that college students involved in the extracurricular life of a campus achieve better grades and experience higher levels of satisfaction. Still, not all faculty support life outside the academic classroom. When money is tight, extracurricular activities are often the first budget items scrutinized.
Higher education faculty from around the country swarmed upon a national student activities conference in St. Louis this week to protest the high budgets spent on extracurriculars at their institutions. Little did they know they would change their tunes and become vocal fans of the National Association of College Activities (NACA).
“I went to St. Louis to raise awareness about the drastic budget cuts to my cancer research lab,” said Dr. Candace Dexter, a biochemist from Santa Juanita University of Arizona. “I was frustrated and angry that I had to cut two lab workers while my students were going to see concerts and speakers like Fantasia Barrino any given night of the week. Boy, was I wrong!”
Dr. Dexter took time away from her conference protesting duties to visit a booth from Caricatures by Big Smile, after which she told her faculty colleagues that she was joining the NACA team.
“My caricature was so cute and meaningful, I could see why my cancer research has been ignored,” said Dexter. “After that session I went to see a hippie guy playing an acoustic guitar and I gave him my business card. I hope he’ll come to Santa Juanita this spring!”
“We were close to making a huge breakthrough in the fight against AIDS in Africa, but our funds were frozen,” said medical researcher and human rights activiest Gordon Voo. “Now that I’ve seen Mike Super Magic & Illusion, though, I can see why our lab isn’t quite as important as I’d thought. I don’t know how Mike does that super magic! It was amazing!”
Many faculty were swayed by NACA’s impressive exhibits, but not all were convinced of the value of student activities.
“I must admit I was seduced by the opportunity to sneak in and meet the staff from The Onion,” said Max Kendalk, the dean of faculty at Western Pittsburgh University who believes 100 percent of student activities fees should be diverted to faculty initiatives. “But I have to go back and explain to my faculty that we’re competing for funds against Hanson? Hanson, I tell you!”
“Hanson?” said another protestor. “When is that showcase? Can someone hold my ‘Faculty, Yes! Fun, No!’ sign while I check it out?”