Proposed fees cause conflict

Raised fees: the price of progress

Lenzi Suddeth | Guest Columnist

I support President Scott’s proposal to raise student fees to bring in $24 million of the $46 million needed to renovate the campus. There are more undergraduates than ever at PSU, and I feel that the university will continue to grow. I strongly believe that our buildings should grow alongside the students occupying them. The money will be used to renovate the Overman Student Center and the Weede, and allow the new Fine and Performing Arts Center to be built from scratch. These are all needed improvements.
The renovations to the Overman Student Center will offer more seating and dining options in the U-Club, benefiting students who are in need of a quick meal or do not have meal plans at Gibson Dining Hall. Currently, the U-Club looks more like a small café than a lounge meant to serve various purposes for the university. Expansions to the Student Center are definitely needed and I think the money would be well spent.
The renovations to the Weede would not only benefit student-athletes and coaches, but PSU as a whole. Administrators mentioned that the new facility could be used to host community events, which would benefit the school financially and would help improve public relations. Community support can only help the funding and involvement with Pitt State.
Finally, the Fine and Performing Arts Center is sorely needed because the current facility is obsolete and is used solely for the performing arts. The proposed new facility would enable PSU to host more artists and displays, with two performance halls rather than one. This is another positive change we can make.
Overall, the $30 student fee increase each year is a small price to pay for something that will benefit the future of our campus. Times are changing, and this plan offers a simple way to get where we need to be. You cannot put a price on progress and we, as students trying to progress in society through means of education, should understand this more than anyone. It is for this reason that the money should come from student fees. Personally, I feel that PSU has given me so many opportunities, and I am glad to give back to the entity that has gotten me where I am today.

Should I pay or should I go now

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Bartholomew Klick | Collegio Reporter

I don’t want to pay more fees so PSU can expand current buildings and build new ones. I’m a senior, and I won’t be here long enough to use the proposed performing arts center, the Weede expansion, or the expansion to the student center.
Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to see all of those things. If PSU asked me if I wanted to contribute to them, I would. They’re not asking, though. Instead, they’re raising fees, something I have no control over.
PSU has no problem accepting donations for these large-scale projects, so why doesn’t it continue to seek community and student support until they’ve met the expected costs of the buildings? I’ve met my share of “firebrand Gorillas,” who have no qualms stuffing $5 in an envelope for their alma mater. The worst-case scenario in funding the new expansion entirely through donations is a delay in their completion. This hurts nobody.
I’d be less annoyed with the fee increase if PSU had a better track record in optimizing space. However, too many classrooms are overcrowded, and too many other classrooms have room to spare. This is a symptom of bad planning.
Granted, PSU had a specialist optimize this space a while back but that doesn’t give me much faith in how soon the space in the new buildings and expansions will be used well, instead of merely being occupied.
Did I mention there’s a massive catacomb of unused space in Whitesitt Hall?
I realize this won’t fill the needs of a new performing arts center, but what’s so special about student government that they get their own home in the new student center expansion? Why can’t they use space in Whitesitt? I’d be less irritated about involuntarily contributing to a cause I don’t support if I had faith that the cause was well managed.
I think tuition needs to be used on maintaining the campus and paying the teachers, not for investing in the college as if it were a business. From a student’s point of view, there is no tangible benefit to breaking enrollment records, or using new buildings as an advertising scheme to do so. We have an awesome campus already, and I think it could be improved with the money we already spend on it.
Don’t force me to invest in the college for no return. It’s not like fees or tuition will ever go back down.

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