Paying more for the same degree

Brittany Jordan

We haven’t gotten the nickname Construction State University for nothing. Every time you get used to a building and the way it looks, expect it to undergo construction within the next semester. Just mastered a way to class that is both efficient and beautiful? Don’t get used to it — your route will most likely be marred by orange cones and detour signs within the not-so-distant future.

So now that we have to deal with all the construction — I mean we haven’t gotten to really use our student center all semester — is it adding anything to the worth of our degrees?


I don’t think so. All of these “improvements” may be aesthetically-pleasing, but I have my doubts that they’re really necessary. Oh, and the buildings that really need construction (Eddy, anyone?) still don’t seem to have made it on the immediate improvement list. Instead, we’re giving biology a new building, engineering has already worked on its new space off Laurel, and the south end of the student center continues to be out of commission. But, dorms such as Newsom and Allison, and technically Aylesworth, sport the same tired-old tile from the ‘80s.

I think that all of this construction would be tolerable if it was adding anything to my education. I could understand my hard-earned money going towards things that made the University seem more attractive to employers, but so far all I’ve seen is construction making things look pretty.

Look, I can receive knowledge anywhere. Sure, I would prefer if it was in a place that didn’t make me cringe to look at, but I honestly couldn’t care less if it has artistically-designed poetry on the walls. What I do care about is the quality of the faculty. I care about my professors knowing how to teach me so that I can best learn and perform well in the “real world.” I care that every teaching style is supported and encouraged by the building that they are in. Whether or not it looks pretty doesn’t matter to me.

So my student fees going towards buildings in which the necessity is debatable is hard to swallow. I’m sure the new biology building will be fantastic, not that I’ll be around to ever have a class in it. And, I am sure that the engineering building is fostering brilliant minds.

But, you would think that maybe we could get the swivel chairs out of Clark, a building that nearly every student will enter over the course of their education by now. Or maybe we could make the hallways of Eddy navigable. Just a thought.

We have the faculty down; I have been blessed enough to come across some truly incredible professors over my educational journey, and admire every professor whose given a lecture that I’ve sat through. We have some truly incredible minds here at CSU.

But, we seem so focused on aesthetics that I think we’ve missed the point. Every other university fundraises for new buildings and hesitates on dipping into student fees. And CSU does as well — when we graduate we will be lucky enough to receive periodic phone calls asking to donate money — but we turn to student fees far too quickly. If you can’t fundraise enough money for it, maybe we should rethink it’s necessity.

Which brings me to the on-campus stadium. Sure, it’s flashy and probably a good thing to have. Is it necessary? Not so much, especially when you’re not getting as much money for it as you had originally planned.

I love our academic programs. I love our athletic programs. What I don’t love is funding the University’s spending habits on things that aren’t needed.

We are paying more for the same degree. When we graduate, employers will be looking at your academic performance, not at how pretty your campus was. Can your perform better in state-of-the-art buildings? Absolutely, but let’s not pretend that we’re slumming it right now.


All of our buildings that we are learning in have the technological advancements that are needed. Maybe they’re not the prettiest, any maybe they’re a little run down, but they work. We can save a lot of money by slowing down on the construction, and being content with what we have.

A content heart is something to strive for, isn’t it?

Brittany Jordan is Opinion Editor at the Collegian. Feedback can be sent to

In Brief:

Functionality and aesthetics aren’t the same.

If you’re not fundraising enough money for it, then maybe it’s not a necessary expense.

Let’s put the construction to rest for a while.