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College's Christmas Trees

December 20, 1990

Your story about the Christmas tree fracas on the Pierce College campus would be funny were it not so pitiful.

The question at Pierce College isn't whether Cicero should be permitted to sell Christmas trees but rather what should be done with the Pierce College farm? This has been the major question for 20 years, yet no one addresses it.

Pierce College has about 450 acres to help educate about 20,000 students, most of them part time. Probably close to 400 acres are devoted to the departments of agriculture, horticulture and their ilk. There are probably fewer than 400 students in those departments.

Shouldn't some administrator sit down and compute what benefits accrue from having the farm as it is and what it costs the taxpayers? For instance, the farm has served as a resting place for migrating fowl, particularly the beautiful Canada geese. It has served, and could better serve, as an educational field trip for elementary schoolchildren.

But teaching students to ride horses or training veterinarian's assistants for minimum wage jobs is not how tax money should be spent.

The story about the Christmas trees is trivial. The real story lies in what disposition should be made of the farm.


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