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University can find funding help by saving cash, student abilities

April 3, 1997

The issue:

Fundraising

His view:

The University should

consider

alternate

methods for building funds

Ricky George

Lariat editor

Building the Student Life Complex and other capital improvements are expensive propositions. The Baylor Board of Regents voted for a bond issue last week to fund capital improvements. Why borrow money when other resources are at hand?

The University would need to tighten its belt in a few places, as well as take more unorthodox approaches to fundraising.

A few suggestions:

Rent the bear out for birthday parties. Let the Chamber guys go as clowns. If Ginny can do 'Sic'em Bears' and drink Dr Pepper, going through a hoop can't be that big a deal.

Sell subscriptions to The Rope. No one around here wants to buy The Lariat.

Save money on the SLC construction by using student workers. Follow me here. Offer a deal on tuition or fees in exchange for a little hard labor. Besides, if a student helps build something, they're dang sure going to use it.

Use Miser™ green lights for the tower in Pat Neff Hall. Heck, rig up Student Congress' Christmas lights, they only use them at Christmas anyway.

Sell the carillon. Hook a synthesizer from Wal-Mart up to some speakers. Soon, the campus can sway along as they listen to 'Ode to Joy' with a salsa drumbeat.

Get the administration physically involved. Try a car wash. Why not? Everyone else does. I'd pay $5 to have Dr. Sloan wipe down my Ranger.

Have a campus-wide candy sale. University students surely remember toting those cardboard boxes filled with the World's Finest Chocolate in the name of prom, band trips or computers.

Let the theater productions show some skin on stage. The locals will come.

Rent out the yell leaders and the band. Don't get your pom poms in a wad, hear me out. Not every school in Texas has cheerleaders for all sports, especially not high-quality ones such as ours. It's a bit late for advertising, so we can just set them up outside University Interscholastic League events with signs that say 'Will Cheer for Cash.'

The band kids can work the events too. Not all debaters will want 'Kashmir' playing while they're trying to make a point, but at least it'll be more entertaining.

Sell some athletic weight equipment. They can only use one machine at a time anyway.

Get professors in the act. English professors can write trashy romance or horror novels. Faulkner, Schmaulkner, Stephen King sells books. If nothing else, hire out the professors as consultants. That's where the money apparently is anyway.

Extort money from local businesses. Send a couple of good-sized University linemen to convince them to make more donations. No rough stuff, just their best smile and flex of the biceps. You catch more flies with honey...

Lastly, start a televangelism show. This project might make the best use of the resources and talents we have on tap.

The choice of evangelist is obvious. Dr. Sloan is a fine, experienced preacher. We just need to find the Robert Tilton in him. Granted, Tilton's ethics leave a little to be desired, but we're just talking methodology here. Tilton's 'ministry' was rolling in dough before he got exposed by one of those news magazine shows.

Dr. Sloan will need a bit of a makeover. The collars must be wider, the suits louder. Whiten the hair, gel it to perfection and we have liftoff.

Production would be completely in-house. Get the Baylor Religious Hour Choir for music. Let the communication students operate the show for a project or work-study.

Theater majors can provide the audience and special effects. Nothing says devotion like good lighting and smoke machines. Plus they're probably better at swooning at the appropriate time.

Marketing students can handle the phones. Start small, maybe public access cable, then hit syndication. Endowment money? A few weeks on late-night cable with some convincing healings and Notre Dame can eat our shorts on endowment money.

In no time at all, students could be swimming, lifting weights and generally improving themselves in the plush expanse of the SLC, all thanks to a little financial creativity.

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