Kean University Students Create Petition After $219,000 Conference Table Is Purchased

The recent purchase of a conference table that was custom-built with a price tag of $219,000 has students of Kean University on fire and has spurred them to create a petition.

Students decided to draft the petition on Wednesday to urge the Kean University Board of Trustees to review the decision of President Dahwood Farahi to purchase the table. The petition states that a reevaluation is needed as a result of Farahi’s “failure to work for a better education.” There are currently 680 signatures according to the petition’s website.

According to The Record the new conference table is “22 feet, made of oak with a cherry veneer, has been installed on the top floor of the new $40 million building on campus that will house the architecture school that Kean said was designed to fulfill ‘a university need for a world-class corporate meeting space.’”

Kean University administrators are standing behind the purchase as is evident by their statement to Officials at the university said of the conference center, “a strategic investment to further develop Kean as an epicenter for world-class education as well as a host institution for meetings and discussions on matters of local, state, national and international impact.”

Taking the defense of the table a step further, officials have emphasized the use of a Chinese company as a money saving measure and a means to strengthen new ties with the country.

Farahi’s response of “why not?” when questioned about the reasoning behind buying the table has sparked many twitter comments from dissatisfied students. One angry student tweeted “Kean University has a $219,000 table that seats 24, but there was sometimes I went to class and there weren’t enough desk (sic) for students.”

New Jersey Assemblyman, Joseph Cryan, has spoken out against the the purchase and has this today in a press release, “The fact that Kean University spent $219,000 on a conference table shows how broken New Jersey’s higher education system has become. Priorities are out-of-whack here. The university can’t even come up with a sensible explanation for its abusive spending.”

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