In response to Mayor Angel Taveras’ repeated requests for more financial support, Brown University announced yesterday morning that it would give the city of Providence a booklet of homemade coupons for mundane tasks to help make up for the money it does not pay in taxes.
“After months of deliberation, it’s wonderful that we’ve reached an agreement amenable to both parties involved,” said Brown University President Ruth Simmons in a press conference on the Main Green. “These times call for compromises from everyone, and in compromise there is sacrifice. The city of Providence has graciously agreed to sacrifice potential tax revenue. We, in turn, are willing to sacrifice the precious time and effort it will take to do household chores, such as washing the city’s cars, doing the city’s laundry and giving the city a foot rub.”
The coupons were met with a lukewarm reception at the City Hall. “While I know I’ll definitely be using the ‘do the dishes’ coupon after I make my famous eight-pot, three-pan chili, I’m not sure how effectively the coupons solve the original problem of the city’s dwindling resources,” said Mayor Taveras in a private interview with The Noser.
“Not accepting them would be rude, though. I mean so much time and effort went into these! And the illustrations are real cute, too,” he added, pointing to a crayon rendering of Dean Katherine Bergeron happily walking the city’s dogs.
Unnamed sources high within the University told The Noser the coupons were chosen over a bouquet of flowers, breakfast in bed and a Barnes & Noble gift card.
Students expressed concern that the gift would further raise their already high tuition. “I don’t come from a family with a lot of spare hugs,” said Mike Farrow ’13. “I’m disappointed the University has chosen to take this step.”
Other students took issue with the specific coupons in the booklet. “I usually trust the University’s judgment, but a coupon for ‘one favor’?” asked Kim Yeager ’14. “That just seems shortsighted. Couldn’t they ask us to do them the favor of giving them an extra $5 million every year like they wanted?”
“Besides that, though,” she reasoned, “I see no problem with the coupons.”
A leaked email exchange between President Simmons and Provost Mark Schlissel shed new light on the deal, revealing that University administrators had in fact completely forgotten about the city’s repeated requests for increased funding until the very morning the coupons were presented.
As of press time, city officials had yet to turn over the coupons, which state, in very small handwriting, that they will expire tomorrow.