By Katelyn Friel
Let’s face it, when it comes down to it, many decisions that we make are based on dollars and cents.
Choosing the right place to pursue higher education is no different. As young adults and students, we hold certain expectations of what our astronomical tuition dollars are going toward. This is especially true since many of us finance our tuition cost through student loans. Including room and board, tuition here at Rider University is nearing $40,000. I hope, along with the majority of the student population, that my money is going toward positive, beneficial improvements for the Rider campus. However, this is not always the case.
During the summer of 2007, while many of us were slaving away at our internships and jobs, Rider made several improvements across the Lawrenceville campus. While there are many positive changes that have popped up, there are also a few that have left many students wondering, “Is this really where my money is going?”
The first example that comes to mind are the new, state-of-the-art flat screen televisions in, of all places, Daly’s. When speaking to my peers, the general consensus is that this “improvement” is probably the most ridiculous of everything Rider has done to revamp the Lawrenceville campus’ aesthetic appeal. In all honesty, who goes to Daly’s to sit down, eat and watch the evening news? The majority of the time it is impossible to hear the person sitting next to you, let alone a television. With the money spent on this frivolity, it would probably be possible to purchase window screens that actually fit in the windows of some of the older dorms. Is it truly that much to ask to be able to open a window without fearing being attacked by insects?
Apart from this technological update, another questionable improvement that was made during the summer was the landscaping in front of a few of the residence halls. Was it absolutely imperative to landscape three different times just before move-in for new students and parents? Instead the money could have been put toward cleaning up the lake. Anyone who has walked by this attraction would know that its appearance is less than desirable. With a little renovation, its beauty would be restored and become an asset for the Lawrenceville campus.
However, with every cloud there is that shimmering silver lining. Not all of the improvements made this summer are seen as a waste of our tuition dollars. The brand new Starbuck’s in the SRC is a welcome addition to the Rider community. For those students pulling that necessary all nighter, this posh caffeine provider has been embraced with open arms because of its late hours and convenience. Not only have our caffeine demands been met but also students’ academic needs.
In the Fine Arts building, the J-labs have been newly outfitted with brand new Macintosh computers to give students the latest technology necessary for their fields of study. These, along with the conversion of classrooms into laboratories in the Science building, are highly beneficial for the demands of work and study. The small things, like the new carpeting in the Fine Arts building and the BLC, are both necessary and well invested enhancements. It is these advancements that provide a bit of relief in knowing that our tuition dollars are not being thrown away.
There will always be questionable developments and actions taken anywhere life takes you. When it comes down to dollars and cents, invest wisely. While many, including myself, rightly feel that some of our money was not put toward the most beneficial uses, students should not think that their investment in Rider was unwise. In the end, the investment in our pursuit of higher education will allow us to gain back the money we have put out, with interest.