Kansas State is renovating parts of their campus, and the latest addition to the Student Union is creeping a few students out. The university unveiled a new statue of Willie the Wildcat on March 29, and now we can’t unsee it.
— K-State Collegian (@kstatecollegian) March 30, 2017
Maybe it is the way the lower jaw looks like it’s separate from the rest of statue in a way that looks like it might start talking to you. Or maybe it’s the way the mouth seems entirely too large, and the pink gums that look like weird lips? I went through a lot of pictures of Willie, and I can’t find a single one with pink gums like that. Who in the world looked at that and was like, ‘Yup, nailed it’? Whatever it is, students seem to agree, it’s not right.
“My first literal thought was, ‘Burn it. Burn it with fire,’” Sam Edwards told The Collegian. “It was very off-putting and isn’t the real thing. It puts me on edge and is just cringe-worthy. My initial reaction was, ‘I absolutely hate this.’
“Every time I think about it I still get upset. That’s $35,000; that is a huge-fricken price tag for something like that. In my opinion, that isn’t worth it. The biggest thing for me is it doesn’t even look like it’s worth $35,000.”
That’s right, the university paid $35,000 for this masterpiece. The funds were given by a private donor in order to create a Willie the Wildcat photo-op for students. However, several students don’t understand why the school is using funds in this way.
“When the Union revealed the Willie statue, I did not initially have a strong reaction,” Bethany Schifferdecker told The Collegian. “I was not surprised by it as we have seen so many changes in the Union this year as it’s undergone renovations. It wasn’t until I heard the price of the statue that I was really shocked. Don’t get me wrong, I love Willie the Wildcat, I just can’t understand how it is worth that much.
“We have to remember that with every spending decision, we choose not to spend that money on something else. It doesn’t matter that the funds came from a donor. There is only a limited amount of donor funds available to the university and so the decision to use those funds on a plastic statue is still the decision not to use them on students. When I see close friends struggling to pay for tuition at the same time the university and its donors are dropping $35,000 on a statue, it feels like we have our priorities all wrong.”
Well, it actually does matter that the money came from a donor. None of the funds used to pay for the statue came from the school. When the school, or anyone for that matter, accepts money that’s intended to go towards something, they have to spend it on that thing. Ideally though, that thing wouldn’t be a giant, creepy statue.
Just so everyone has some reference, here is what the real Willie the Wildcat looks like.