Students do not live by ice cream alone.

Recently, the Memorial Union announced that they were spending $15,000 on an ice cream machine that would be placed in the Hornet’s Nest.

According to our calculations, a gallon of ice cream at the grocery store that costs $6. With this same amount of money, the Memorial Union could have bought 40,000 servings of ice cream.

With the estimated life of the ice cream machine being 8-10 years, that’s 4,000 servings of ice cream per year. Even with that, that doesn’t factor in the cost of the sugar, milk, ice or the salary of the person who operates the machine.

Do we really need to eat this much ice cream?

The “Freshman Fifteen” is a struggle as it is and the ice cream doesn’t help.

Or what about the lactose intolerant or vegan students who can’t benefit from the machine? Or the many students who don’t have access to The Hornet’s Nest?

Beyond that, aren’t there other ways the Memorial Union could have spent this money to honor ESU and our campus?

What about funding a tribute to Emporia State’s first black graduates? Gaitha Page and John R. Smith were the first black students to graduate from ESU in 1899.

How amazing is that?

Instead of spending $15,000 of Memorial Union money on an ice cream machine that money could have been donated to a memorial for these inspiring students.

Could you imagine a mural with Gaitha Page in his Kansas State Normal baseball uniform, warmly smiling at students as they pass by in the union?

These two men were true pioneers and their role on our campus is something to be celebrated. Furthermore, this would be in line with Goal 5 of the university to promote diversity and inclusion.

Or beyond that, what about fixing the Associated Student Government printer so that students can print their conference posters when they represent our university elsewhere?

How about a salary increase for the student janitors who work so hard to keep our union clean? Or for the Sodexo employees? What about investing and exploring healthier options for the union? Or a contribution to the student food pantry? Corky’s Cupboard is always in need of donations.

How the Memorial Union spends its money reflects its values.

Our values are more than sugar and fat.

We aren’t Pizza Ranch.

We’re Emporia State University, and we wear that with pride.

It’s time to show what our university has to offer and to celebrate our achievements and the achievements of those who have walked these halls.

Not shove our faces full of sugar.

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