How will students be able to afford this shiny new campus?
November 28, 2010 8:34 PM
As students stroll along the various asphalt paths connecting campus, it's hard to miss the skeletal building that was once our library. As it's slowly brought back to life with updated and expanded facilities, one can't help but wonder how many greenbacks are being sunk into the library's face lift? Especially at a time when many academic departments aren't much more than skeletons themselves.
The University sets the bill for the new J. Paul Leonard Library at approximately $116 million.
The lease revenue bond that funded this project was approved in 2002 before any major belt tightening became necessary. The official word is that funds for this project are "available only for construction, sometimes equipment and other related items."
So, as we continue to pass by that shell of a building, we can grind our teeth and conclude that the powers that be made the best decision they could at the time.
But wait, what's this? Another new building? Yes, a creative arts center is now in the works for $4.5 million and according to SF State's website, this is just a part of an ongoing plan for more new campus construction. Didn't the University also mention something about a 5 percent tuition increase this spring? Hello! Is somebody in Sacramento asleep at the wheel? The CSU Chancellor's office continues to contend that the financial backing for these projects comes from construction-only bonds. The lack of judgment in these financial concerns must originate beneath that dome-shaped building somewhere.
OK, let's concede to the idea that someone should be looking out for the welfare of all aspects of this school's needs and a part of a successful educational experience is being trained in trades that that can be used in the real world.
Someone needs to say when enough is enough and realize that as times change we must roll with the financial punches. While the idea of money designated solely for making sure facilities are up-to-date might have been sound before the University budget took a beating, now that students are paying more and being offered less, it hardly seems realistic.
When professors are taking on heavier loads to make up for lecturers the University can no longer afford, perhaps some Sacramento bigwig should realize the need to shift priorities and create legislation to allow University money to go where it's needed most.
After all, what good is a sparkling, modern university if no one can afford to attend?
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