Colleges invest thousands of dollars to support their students and campuses. But at Montclair State University, that investment is taking the form of a giant bird statue. New Jersey's second-largest state university will spend $210,000 to purchase a bronze statue of their hawk mascot, according to the NBC affiliate in New York.
About half the funding for the 12-foot-tall bird of prey figure will come from mandatory fees that students pay to the Student Government Association, while $4,000 will come from donations raised through fundraising and other activities. The rest will be financed by other university funds. The school told CNBC that the Student Government Association voted to approve a contribution of $100,000 towards the cost of the RedHawk statue.
A group of Montclair students came up with the idea for a Red Hawk statue eight years ago, wanting a school symbol to be placed prominently on campus, the university told CNBC in a statement.
The statue is meant to foster excitement for the college's Division III athletic teams and promote pride and identity, which can be challenging in a school with a significant commuting population, the university said.
But instead of a statue, cheaper tuition and more parking spaces would be more effective at boosting school spirit, Montclair State student Jo Landau told The Record newspaper.