Call it beautiful. Call it by its new name: the Student Center. Call it a little bit late.
In all honesty, the $14 million renovations that changed the center of campus is exciting and much needed. But at what cost to students?
The Student Center renovations were funded partially with housing money. With a price tag of $14.2 million, students paid for half of it. Not necessarily a bad concept, it is our campus, but with the economy slowing and the continuing string of layoffs, wouldn’t the $14 million have been better spent keeping tuition costs in line so that next year’s students and their families could afford an education at Temple?
That wasn’t the case and may not be the case.
|The campus needs rejuvenation, though less so now, but Temple needs to watch how it spends it money, or rather whose money it spends.|
This year the University asked the state for a five percent increase over what was contributed last year and didn’t get it. Instead, a tiny 0.6 percent increase was made in the state’s contribution. That figure is well below inflation, meaning that Temple actually lost. So how does Temple continue to bring in money? Tack the needed funds onto tuition prices. Thereby making a Temple education more expensive, and in some cases too expensive for the type of student that Temple used to cater to.
Even parking rates increased this year, and while they are still competitive rates, the parking rates already incensed students, and raising them isn’t doing anything to quell the anger.
Temple needs to realize that while it is one of the cheapest state funded schools in Pennsylvania, a comparison of 12 other schools put Temple as the third most expensive state funded college of those compared across the nation. Only Penn State and Pitt were more expensive.
Raising tuition rates is only going to hurt Temple in the long run. Temple needs to realize that its student base isn’t typical. Temple students come from all backgrounds. That means that some students here aren’t paying a penny, but others are putting themselves through school without help from family. Higher tuition rates push these students away and thereby decreasing the diversity that is Temple.
So Temple finds itself in a tight place. The campus needs rejuvenation, though less so now, but Temple needs to watch how it spends it money, or rather whose money it spends.
The remaining $7 million or so for the Student Center came from the University’s general operating budget which is funded by the state and partly by the endowment. An endowment campaign should be starting shortly. The University plans to raise nearly $300 million, of which a portion could be used for future construction projects.
Hopefully when Phase II of Student Center construction commences next fall, Temple will receive funds from outside of the student base allowing more money to be used to keep Temple University affordable to all students.
Let us hear your thoughts. Send your comments to us by using the form in the Submissions section. Or they can dropped off at the Temple News office located in the Student Center, Room 315.