Will the school release a line-by-line expense sheet for the project?
I ask this because, while I believe that the abstract idea of the school having a float in the inaugural parade is an appealing one, the fact is that the one we actually put in the actual parade looks like it was built by kindergarteners, or possibly trained monkeys - and that was my impression before I heard about the price tag. My reaction after hearing the total estimated cost of $80,000 was more along the lines of so, what, they budgeted $79,000 for drinkin' and $1,000 for "oh shit, we forgot that we were supposed to be building something with all that money?"
The Hatchet, whose journalistic efforts I ordinarily don't find nearly so much cause to complain about as many of my classmates and fellow bloggers here do, doesn't really seem to care on this one. The only specific line item they take note of in the above-linked story is the flown-in artist from UNC. Here's the thing, though: Raleigh-Durham to Reagan National non-stop costs about $300 round trip on US Airways, and first-class to BWI on Southwest is the same - and Amtrak business class is a six-hour ride for $100. While the virtues of the university footing the bill for imported talent might be questionable (what, we couldn't find a single person who lives in this city who knows how to paint?), I really, truly, honestly couldn't care less about that - in such a massive bottom-line price, it's a drop in the bucket.
The real question is: how did we end up spending what could have been nearly three years of a full-ride scholarship on something so embarrassingly and resoundingly mediocre? If it didn't go to the builders (who were volunteers), or to purchasing the materials (which, um, seemed to be primarily finger-paint, cardboard and plywood), where did all the money go?