A $219,000 conference table has some students at Kean University speaking out this week. The expensive piece of “furniture” is state of the art with built-in speakers and is expected to be used at future education gatherings, but some students think the table was nothing more than a waste of money. ABC News reported this Monday, November 24, 2014, that a number of students are talking on Twitter about the wrongful use of school dollars for the imported table, though the institution has not given a comment on the issue.
Many might consider Kean University to have splurged on a $219,000 conference table, but no one can say it doesn’t have style and appeal. The oak table, spanning 23 feet around, has received fierce criticism from college students for its hefty price tag. The multi-purpose desk includes innovative speakers, a circular design, and high-tech technological equipment meant to allow officials to sit and talk to various speakers from a variety of international locales.
Despite all of its modern capabilities, some students say the table is simply a waste of money. “That’s ridiculous,” freshman Melrose Johnson said. “It’s a table. You’re just sitting around it.” The table itself is a specially designed piece of furniture made in China. Kean University opened a campus in the foreign country earlier this 2014, and this purchase appears to have stemmed from the foreign connection.
A number of school officials are saying that there are practical ways to help balance the expensive $219,000 cost, notes UPI News. One spokesperson noted that the conference room is not simply to be used for education meetings or local talks, but instead can be rented out to companies within the New Jersey area on campus for a steep price. Over time, this process may help offset the price tag.
Nonetheless, some Kean students took to Twitter this week to say that all of those dollars should have been used for more real-world, efficient purposes that directly help students themselves. Some college scholars wrote that the money would be better to have been given to the campus body, from installing more classroom desks and lowering the cost of tuition to even improving parking lot spaces. Joseph Cryon, a state assembly official for New Jersey, added:
“Whether or not this is legal, it’s certainly not ethical and it’s a waste of taxpayer money,” he shared in a comment to NorthJersey.com. “And it’s an added insult that they didn’t go to an American vendor.”
Fellow readers, what is your response to the $219,000 Chinese conference table? Was it really a waste of school money or worth the expensive price? Many Kean University students seem to think all of those dollars could have been put to much better use for the college body as a whole via Twitter and other social media sites, but the table remains a pricey purchase for officials to use at future gatherings.