How to spend $5000 of newly found money.
September 9, 2005 11:04 PM   Subscribe

Just today our engineering students society found $5000 in a safe we didn't know we had. Now we've got to spend it, preferably in some useful and/or awesome way. Do you have any suggestions on what a students society might want to spend it on?

We've got a lounge with a few old computers, a really cool fridge and a big-screen tv (so we don't need those things). We usually get 30 grand per year in student fees but this feels like we just won the lottery. Holding the rolls of bills feels like we're drug dealers or something. It would be cool if whatever we spend it on is something we could remember year down the road(or not, whatever goes).
posted by sirsteven to Work & Money (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Scholarship fund?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:10 PM on September 9, 2005

A really nice console-game system (geared towards par-tay games)?
posted by Lockeownzj00 at 11:17 PM on September 9, 2005

...(that can be elaborated upon, but first was just throwing it out there)
posted by Lockeownzj00 at 11:17 PM on September 9, 2005

-Fancy lounge couches?
-Startup capital for a student-run coffee/snack bar?

The latter idea was enacted by our own engineering society ten years ago. The lounge has grown into a centerpiece of student life (and since the labour is all volunteered, a decent money earner for the society too)
posted by Popular Ethics at 11:23 PM on September 9, 2005

Every Mechano set you can find :)
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:23 PM on September 9, 2005

You are engineers, right? This is a stupid question...

Higher a naked stripper on a horse and buy lots of beer, of course.

You could build yourselves a Cannon and challenge U of T to a gangbang.

Fund a prank.
posted by Chuckles at 11:39 PM on September 9, 2005

Oh ya, we spell it skule... So capitalizing Cannon in the wrong context, or using the wrong hire... Not really serious issues, okay...
posted by Chuckles at 11:45 PM on September 9, 2005

Best answer: $5000 in a safe we didn't know we had

An accountant?
posted by normy at 12:03 AM on September 10, 2005

Personally, I would either donate it to charity or order 600 pounds of silly putty from Dow Corning.
posted by bobo123 at 12:06 AM on September 10, 2005

Although I second Normy's call for an accountant, I'd suggest setting up a legacy fund. Put half the money in a savings account and half in in a stock-indexed GIC (allows for more gain than a GIC but preserves your initial investment). Every year, spend 80% of the gain on a legacy activity and leave the rest to accumulate. You could hold a contest to come up with this legacy activity each year. Although future eng socs will get to spend your money, you're establishing a legacy that will fund future legacies.

When I was in high school, our student council had a $10k surplus. The council (of which I was a member) suggested setting up a service scholarship fund or a legacy fund. The non-graduating members balked at the idea -- somehow convinced that it only benefited graduating students. Instead, the vice-principal convinced the other members to buy a big neon sign for the front of the school. It was a giant notepad with a giant pencil attached -- the kind you put letters up on. The sign was smashed and the pencil was quickly stolen. They don't have it anymore and I only graduated about 12 years ago. The council used the $10k and a loan to buy the sign. Ouch.
posted by acoutu at 12:43 AM on September 10, 2005

Build your own robot?
posted by kosher_jenny at 2:35 AM on September 10, 2005

preferably in some useful and/or awesome way.

Red Cross. And see if you can get another campus organization, or business in the community, to match it.
posted by anathema at 3:39 AM on September 10, 2005

Best answer: 1. Prize for a design contest among the students; Ask them to engineer a low cost solution for a particular vexing problem in some third world country.
posted by planetkyoto at 6:49 AM on September 10, 2005

has it really taken this long for someone to suggest massive quantities of alcohol?
posted by TTIKTDA at 8:39 AM on September 10, 2005

Hookers and blow?

If not that, then the accountant route seems the safest. Put some away, invest some, give some to charity, and spend a little bit on Wow! Shiny! Toys! right now to get some immediate gratification out of finding the money.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:11 AM on September 10, 2005

Best answer: You could work on an engineering project together that would help people and look great on grad school applications. Have a contest to find the best project idea, then all work on it together. I have ideas myself if you want some.

Silly putty is all right, but brains + money + time + friends with same = once in a lifetime opportunity to make something really cool.
posted by amtho at 11:51 AM on September 10, 2005

Please donate to Hurricane Katrina Relief. If you didn't know you had it before, then you won't miss it.
posted by abbyladybug at 8:05 PM on September 10, 2005

LED Dance Floor
posted by phrontist at 8:59 PM on September 10, 2005

What acoutu said.
Each year, use the interest skimmed off to fund some high-profile engineering-based wild prank early in the year, with the express goal being to attract more people to the major since whoa! it's apparently not just full of dullards!
posted by Aknaton at 10:57 PM on September 10, 2005

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