To the Editor:
Unbeknownst to many, Sentara Hospital is attempting to make itself more environmentally friendly, with hopes of constructing a green roof atop its building this fall. For those unfamiliar, a green roof is a roof with soil and plant life on it, which helps to reduce flash-flooding, among other benefits. The total project cost is $200,000, a major challenge for a non-profit organization to raise.
This past Tuesday, three administrators from Sentara — the installer, a professor in the biology department and myself — approached the Student Assembly asking it to kick-start the project through a $10,000 pledge (a miniscule amount when the senate currently has $150,000 in its consolidated reserve). The donation would serve to strengthen the existing tie between students and Sentara, which gave us $7.5 million dollars to buy its old property, valued at $15 million.
On the contrary, for over two hours the senate berated us with pointed, insolent questions and remarks. At one point, Sentara, which employs over 800 people, was compared to a coffee shop asking for money to buy an espresso machine. To top off the night, the senate ultimately made no decision on the request and sent it back to committee.
To note, this year the SA has funded numerous pet projects, in one instance granting $1,000 to the boyfriend of one of the senators to design a webpage that is, as of now, non-existent.
The bottom line: When Sentara approaches the student body, hat in hand, and asks for help, we, through our elected representatives, refuse them. Ultimately, if we as students are to demand the equal treatment in the community that we deserve, we must be prepared to give a little to that community. If not, then City Council will never see us anything but greedy. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t blame them.
— Scott Morris ’10