By: Anel Fajardo
News has emerged regarding the Rutgers New Brunswick campus surrounding immense spending by the University’s football team. According to a report released after an investigation by the Bergan Record, it estimated that over a 14-month period starting in May of 2021, the team spent over $450,000 on a meal/shopping delivery service called Grubhub.
The Rutgers Athletic Department had initially allowed the athletes to use the courier service if meals were not provided for them. But not only did athletes use this service to deliver themselves food, but they also began purchasing items that were inedible. From Bed Bath & Beyond to flower arrangements, numerous players have misused this service at the expense of those who are funding the University.
Not only is this a slap in the face to the administration, but an insult to students who pay tuition as well as tax-payers who give money to the state to fund the athletic department. About 21% of the budget given to Rutgers is made possible by the state of New Jersey.
In 2021, the athletic department had spent over $12,000 on a “power nap” machine for the New Brunswick athletes. In the same year, the University’s President Jonathan Holloway said the school was facing “the most significant and substantial shortfall in the university’s history” resulting in a deficit of $97 million, yet the University has the luxury to spend its budget on athletics.
Back in 2021, the campus debuted a new $15 million dollar eight-acre sports complex turf field, so it seems that sports are the only interest worth investing in for the administration. This brings into question what it says about how the universities are run: allowing uncontrolled spending on the main campus while the rest of the students suffer and are forced to pay more in tuition.
This news is only a glimpse of the tip of the iceberg. Rutgers has been under fire in the past for its treatment of other campuses like Rutgers-Camden. With its neglect of equal pay to Camden professors compared to the other campuses, the issues facing New Brunswick come as no surprise.
According to TapintoCamden in December of 2021, Rutgers-Camden faculty reported that they receive 25% less compared to the larger campuses, specifically New Brunswick. The Union had an ongoing lawsuit against the university and this sparked further tension among the professors as many of them voted a “ No confidence” vote on the recently appointed Chancellor Tillis.
The Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union as of this year have started a contract campaign fighting for equal pay, job security, and health care for their faculty. For more information on their cause, go to https://rutgers-ptlfc.org/contract-campaign/.
In recent news, President Holloway held an address on September 23 to the University Senate. According to the Rutgers AAUP-AFT, he failed to provide a resolution to the demand for equal pay among Camden professors. When asked about the faculty’s demand for equal pay for equal work, he responded that it was “a powerful phrase that is compelling on its surface, and it ignores the layers of complexity underneath it.” A clear avoidance of taking ownership of the major shift in pay among professors and faculty.
What will be done to remedy this abuse of power and will the university be able to right its many wrongs? Stay tuned for more news on Rutgers-Camden at the Gleaner.