At almost every large-scale campus event, you may have noticed the many free, promotional t-shirts that are passed out to students. These t-shirts are a great way to promote school pride and to encourage students to attend events, but the overwhelming number of free t-shirts that are given away each year raises suspicions of whether or not the money spent on free t-shirts is being put towards the best possible use.
After consulting a variety of students on campus, I’ve found an overwhelming agreement that free t-shirts are a great way to promote an event and to boost school pride, but not everyone is benefitting from the free t-shirts. Many events, such as the sports games and tailgates give away a limited amount of free t-shirts, which means not everyone receives one. For the students who are not one of the lucky few to win a t-shirt; the feeling is that the money could be allocated for something to benefit more of the student body.
Some students expressed that at the end of the semester they have upwards of 11 t-shirts from free giveaways that they do not wear. The over excess of free t-shirts that are not being used are being seen by students as a misuse of the schools money and has been the catalyst for a change across the campus.
As of this year, many campus organizations, such as the Association of Campus Entertainment, are heeding the students request for quality over quantity.
Amy Wallace, President of ACE, said that recently that the organization has “cut back substantially on t-shirts to enhance the quality of performers and events we bring to campus.”
This is just one of many organizations that have listened to students’ petitions for quality of events rather than quantity of free t-shirts. Hopefully this new advancement will spread across campus and benefit more of the student body. Focusing on the quality of entertainment brought to campus for students is more impactful than a free t-shirt for an event that is lackluster.
Other on-campus organizations and departments, such as the Center for Student Involvement, are being more strategic with their t-shirt distribution and are limiting the number of events that offer free t-shirts in order to provide students with a more meaningful experiences and events on campus.
This is great news for the many students who never wear the free t-shirts they are given and view the distribution of free t-shirts as a waste of funding. That being said, several students suggest that there may be a better use for the current t-shirt funding.
“Shirts bring recognition to the school, but money saved could go into new and better things,” sophomore Katte Vargas said.
If the school were to give away less free t-shirts each year, the money saved could be allocated to improve parking, maintain buildings and enhance the quality of the food. These are all incredibly important suggestions and relevant alternatives for the funding that is currently being put towards supplying the student body with free t-shirts.
Overall, it comes down to the fact that t-shirts are a great way to brand our school, but they are not beneficial to sustaining the functionality of the institution.