LRU – Lazy River University

LRU – Lazy River University

This week, an opinion piece in the New York Times went after the new extravagance in Higher Education, lazy rivers. If you follow what I go after here on Tavern Voices, it’s the cost of college and the impact it’s having on an entire generation. Instead of getting better, universities are becoming even more irresponsible. As James V. Koch said in his NYT article:

The latest trend is lazy rivers, which have been installed at several big institutions, including the Universities of Alabama, Iowa and Missouri. Last year, Louisiana State University topped them all with a 536-foot-long “leisure” river in the shape of the letters “LSU,” part of an $85 million renovation and expansion of its gym. It was L.S.U. students who footed the bill.

These additions provide no educational value and are put on the backs of debt-ridden youths. You have 18 year old high school graduates signing on the dotted line to take on life-changing loans when their degree is worth even less. No one is even attempting to address this skyrocketing costs. Koch goes on to talk about the L.S.U. fee increases:

In the case of L.S.U., the lazy river was financed entirely by student fees, an addendum to their annual tuition. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, over the past five years, those fees increased by 60 percent, nearly triple the amount L.S.U. students paid in 2000.

Let that sink in. A 60% increase in just five years, and 300% increase in 17 years. Absolutely out of control. But I suppose students can get their tan on before they have to live their life inside an office to pay off their debt.

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