Student Government Strives to Keep Gold Rush Alive: Student Senate Votes for More Funds for T-Shirt Program

by   Posted on October 27th, 2009 in Uncategorized

Matt Loffman, Connect2Mason Podcast Director

The George Mason University Student Senate voted Thursday to approve $12,500 in funds to continue the Gold Rush program this year.

The money will initially come out of the Student Government budget funded by student fees, but Student Government members are working on getting donations from Mason departments and local businesses to cover the cost of the program.

Last year, Student Government approved $17,000 for Gold Rush, but more donations came in, so they made money on the program.

As of the Thursday meeting, $5,000 had been promised from Mason departments to fund the program, and another $5,000 in verbal promises had been made.

“I feel really confident in Secretary [of University Life Krista] Muise with her track record and getting donations, and that it will all be paid for, if not more, and we’ll actually be able to buy more t-shirts,” said Senator Allyson Bowers, a government and international politics major. “I think we don’t have many traditions at Mason, and Gold Rush is one that we have.”

A few changes are being made this year. Along with a new design for the t-shirts, 1,000 fewer shirts are being ordered for a total of 5,000.

The decision came because 400 shirts were remaining from last year.

Student Government members hope that by ordering different sizes this year no shirts will be left over.
In the past, family members, faculty and alumni often received shirts.

This year, only Mason students will be eligible to receive a Gold Rush shirt, and students must swipe their student ID to get one.

Student Senator Michael DeMatteo was the only senator to vote against the bill.

“I opposed it because I thought the business plan was absolutely . . . terrible, DeMatteo said. “We did not get a return on investment. Everybody that I’ve talked to . . . said that they’d be willing to pay for [Gold Rush t-shirts].”

Now in its fourth year, Gold Rush’s goal is to increase school spirit and attendance at sporting events, and most students seem to like the idea of continuing the Gold Rush tradition.

“I think they’re a great symbolic something you take away from your Mason experience,” said Caroline Yost, a junior dance major.

Spending over $12,000 for t-shirts does make some students stop to think.

“I think it’s a cool program,” said Alyssa Chaudoin, a sophomore global affairs major. “And the fact that they do get money back on it is really cool because then they can put that to something else in the future, but I still think that $12,500 is a lot of money to be spending on t-shirts.”

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