A couple months ago, we reported that University of Tennessee’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion was defunded by Tennessee Republican lawmakers for encouraging the use of gender-neutral pronouns and inclusive holiday celebrations. The lawmakers rightfully yanked the office’s funding and diverted it towards minority scholarships. The marginalized students protested this decision, as is tradition.
This week, the independent Beacon Center of Tennessee called University of Tennessee’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion the stupidest waste of taxpayer money in the state. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion ran up a $400,000 tab last year to pay their four staff members and push for a safer campus, free of micro-aggressions.
“There are plenty of examples that are more costly to taxpayers, but it’s about what’s the most egregious use of (the office’s) dollars,” said Beacon Center President and CEO Justin Owen.
While the Office for Diversity and Inclusion was not deemed the largest “waste” of taxpayer money in terms of quantity spent, it was chosen the most egregious waste by readers of the Beacon Center’s website. Citing the controversy around memos the office released suggesting that faculty and students use gender-neutral pronouns, Owen praised the state Legislature for diverting the office’s funds to minority scholarships last session.
Looking to reconcile their expenditures, I tried to pull up their page on UT’s site, only for the server to return a 404 error.
Where the hell did they spend the near half mil? There’s no way the four staff members, with their gender studies degrees, made more than 40k (and that’s being extremely generous). It costs $400,000 to operate the office of marginalization, yet my chapter was able to fund a composite shoot, house repairs, a charity, a formal, a semi, plenty of video game, drinking, sports and fantasy tournaments, rent, more repairs, gratuitous amounts of Lionshead and New Amsterdam, all on a shoestring, half-of-you-fucks-haven’t-paid-any-dues-this-year-and-they’re-the-lowest-fucking-dues-on-campus, the-alumni-won’t-give-us-any-more-money-because-the-city-police-were-called-three-times-before-2-p.m.-on-Mardi-Gras budget. If you diverted our treasury to minority scholarships, it couldn’t put a Korean prodigy through two weeks of community college.
All things considered, $240,000 is a lot of cabbage to spend on megaphones, hair dye, and blackout curtains..
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