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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

CSA uses COVID activity fees to bring Aurora Borealis to campus

Every year, Carleton charges all 2,008 students ~$414 as an activity fee that is then managed by the Carleton Student Association (CSA). That’s around $831,000 that goes to student organization funding, as well as an assortment of campus events and, well, activities. Interestingly enough, the CSA still collected this incredible bounty from students during the largely virtual COVID years, and has been slowly working through it. Given the conditions of its use (student activities) it seemed like the cash pile would slowly dwindle for years, doing nothing and wasting time and space, much like the organization that controls it. However, in a shocking display of intelligence and efficacy by CSA, they recently unveiled a project that ate up most of that budget and was met with wide positive responses by students. 

That’s right – CSA was responsible for bringing the Aurora Borealis to campus last weekend. Obviously, they ran out of steam halfway through, as they were only able to afford a much less impressive display on the second night. However, students all over campus were able to enjoy the display on Friday night, which peaked from the hours 1-4 a.m.. Some students complained about the scheduling’s  inconvenience to their sleep, however, CSA did make it known that primetime hours of 10 p.m.  – 1 a.m.  have a much higher surge pricing rate that was not within budget. Despite this, Zoe Roettger ’27 was very upset, saying “I went on Saturday and the lights were barely visible. My inside contacts on CSA told me they had booked it for two nights, and I was severely disappointed.”

An anonymous CSA-affiliated student shared more details about the challenging process, saying, “Well, first we had to pay some pretty big B-R-I-B-E-S to even get the contact info for the Northern Lights scheduling team. I mean, can you imagine if you could just look up the phone number for a team of mystical veins who use flying 18-wheeler trucks to transport large glow-sticks through the sky? Chaos. Not only that, but for reasons relating to the orbit of the Earth around the sun, the company’s management has changed since our dealings with them last year, and the new omnipotent timeless being in charge doesn’t respond to emails very fast, and there ended up being a rush fee for the order for no reason, and so on. Actually, the issues with those management individuals were why we got so many clouds on the day of the eclipse, which was a shame, but on the other hand, did enable us to be somewhat more generous with spring allocations. Maybe that’s good news for you. I don’t really care about that.” While the source continued, a representative from Aurora Borealis, Inc. reached out to the Carletonian via a blinding, incapacitating and hospitalizing vision to very politely ask us not to print anything regarding the college’s other dealings with the company. 

While the timing may not have been ideal for everyone, some students were strangely still up at 1 a.m.  on Friday — perhaps doing homework, or just waiting patiently. These students had the privilege of viewing the Northern Lights for up to four magical hours, and many strongly enjoyed it, describing it as beautiful. Max Fischer ’27 said, “I thought the Lights were really cool. I stayed out there for a few hours just staring up at it. I did think it was kinda weird how at the end the green bits randomly spelled out ‘this display of the Aurora Borealis brought to you by the Carleton Student Association.’” No other students claimed to have witnessed this event, though there were sporadic reports of subliminal messages and continual plaguing visions among the student body. 

Following the event, many were curious at how CSA completed such a project while maintaining an impeccable reputation of unproductivity and general lack of usefulness on campus. In response to this inquiry, the same anonymous CSA affiliate said, “Well, we have secret meetings. Our main task is really organizing local natural phenomena. In fact, in order to maintain such a spotted image, we use the $14 over the general $400 to compel students in various organizations and classes to loudly and publicly disavow our organization and the work that we do. However, as people catch on to our incredible work, and as Baxter Meyer increases the price he charges for each individual count of libel, those fees increase. In fact, we’d like to use this interview as an opportunity to announce that the CSA activity fee will be increased by a further $20 for the coming 2024-25 academic year. If you want to see that number drop, all you have to do is complain about us.”

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