East Campus to build Blue Origin-themed REX ride

Dorm received $7,000 from Jeff Bezos in exchange for design

East Campus will theme one of its 2019 REX rides after aerospace manufacturer Blue Origin in exchange for funding from Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos.

According the EC HouseComm minutes from March 6, EC accepted $7,000 from Bezos in exchange for promoting Blue Origin on a Ferris wheel it had planned to build for REX. Bezos is better known as the founder and CEO of Amazon, as well as the owner of The Washington Post.

EC residents expressed some concerns over their lack of involvement in the decision to accept the sponsorship. According to the HouseComm minutes, there was some discussion after EC accepted Bezos’s money about initiating new mechanisms that seek approval from residents before donations and sponsorships are processed. This would aim to limit donors to those whose values are in line with EC’s values. At one point during the HouseComm meeting, returning Bezos’ contribution was discussed.

After the meeting, EC decided to keep the sponsorship it accepted from Bezos.

“Moving forward, we're soliciting proposals from residents on how to handle matters like this for future years and we're excited to work with EC residents to make RUSH more transparent and grounded in our values,” the EC REX chairs wrote in an email to The Tech.