This story gets a whole lot more interesting when you consider that Atul Bhula, the current president of ASG, is a student at Appalachian State. I was kind of surprised that the DTH article didn’t really comment on this glaring conflict of interest. That Mr. Bhula would even consider lifting the cap on size of the campus grants to benefit his own school indicates that there’s some real ethical issues at play here.
Of course there’s also the whole issue of why we pay thousands of dollars into the organization, and then have to beg and plead to have some of it returned to campus via these Campus Innovation Grants. But that’s an issue for another time and another place.
I also found some of the quotes in the article entertaining:
“It’s a huge competition,” said Lauren Estes, ASU’s student body president. “It’s the equivalent of winning a national football championship.”
Well… no it’s not. People actually know what football is. The Super Bowl is one of the largest (if not the largest) television events of the year. Does anyone even know what a Solar Decathlon is?
Then there’s this one:
“This is not just an Appalachian thing,” said Bhula, who is an MBA student at ASU. “This is our state.”
I’m pretty sure this is just an Appalachian thing. I fail to see how this even remotely benefits me (or anyone outside the team for that matter).
Also, if you read to the very end of the article, you notice that the team has already shipped their house up to DC for this competition. So, they don’t even need the money to compete. They just need the money to bring it back. They can win all kinds of lauds and honors for the glory of North Carolina without ASG spending a single dime. So, once again I ask, “How does this benefit me?” And if for some reason they can’t round up enough money to ship it back here, I’ve got a really simple solution: For $5, you go out, buy a gallon of gasoline, a box of matches, and burn the thing to the ground.