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College Administrations: Unquestionable Decisions?

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As a student at Arizona State University, I am glad to see my university putting their tuition to excellent use. The cost of matriculating into a university is skyrocketing, but anyone who complains of the increased tuition just needs to spend a day in my shoes to understand the justification for such prices. The tuition covers vital innovative technology, crucial health and safety resources, and key sustainability practices.

As I stroll out of the dorm to begin my day, the welcoming site of new glimmering bike racks greets me. “Finally, just what everyone has been demanding,” I exclaim, “a new object to lock bikes to!” I feel collective sighs of relief from my fellow classmates, knowing that we escaped the peril of having to lock our bikes to a slightly older piece of metal with a rusted spot. Disaster averted! Furthermore, the new bike racks are tremendously innovative- instead of allowing cyclists to conveniently lock their bikes to the bar and carry on with their day- the new bike racks require lifting the bike, rotating it, and hanging it vertically to lock it. However, a well-renowned group of bike rack specialists warrants this waste of time and effort saying, “The new design saves approximately one square foot of space per entire bike rack plus or minus two square feet.” This sort of innovative technology is precisely what I imagined my tuition supporting.

Another innovative use of my tuition can be observed in the life-saving “Walk-Only Zones,” which are staffed by an army of paid students all across campus six hours a day to remind me and other students to walk our bikes or get off skateboards in the designated areas. I know this may seem like a senseless expense for my university, but the only alternative would be to expect students to read signs themselves that instruct them to dismount. The university’s decision is clearly sound.

Once I arrive at my destination and step inside the door, an astonishing piece of technology greets me: a water bottle filling station. My university has wisely installed these futuristic devices all throughout campus. In the Arizona heat, dehydration is a known issue and scientific studies have directly correlated the importance of water to human survival. College students now have a proper source to meet this crucial need. No longer are they required to fill their water bottles at now antiquated water fountains. One university study found that water in the water-bottle filling stations is more nutritious and flavorful than the water in water fountains. One hundred percent of the students who responded to a recent survey agreed that the water “might taste slightly better.” Unfortunately, the other half of the participants in the survey was late for her class and had to leave before responding.

Another benefit of the water stations is their upright use. The archaic water-filling apparatuses that students of past generations were forced to use required the operators to slightly arch their back and tilt their empty container in order to fill it with water. This caused a severe danger to student health. I am relieved that my college’s administration perceived the austerity of the situation and supplied the visionary water bottle filling devices.

Moreover, colleges have recently emphasized important sustainability practices. Printers are made of environmentally harmful materials and higher learning institutions are infamous for the quantity of paper and ink they consume. However, universities are now instituting ingenious measures to cut their use of paper, printers, and ink. They accomplish this seemingly impossible feat by charging their tuition-paying students to print their own documents and course materials. Subsequently, many students have purchased personal printers instead of forfeiting additional change to the university to use the school printers. Hence, the university experienced a drastic drop in its ink and paper purchases, saving a myriad of resources and money. Some have countered that what appears to be a green move on the part of the university is actually an environmental disaster. These detractors argue that a few centralized printers have now multiplied into tens of thousands of personal printers – smart students, however, are not bothered by the printing costs because since the size of the printers have decreased, clearly so has their carbon footprint. They are happy to pay more to the university to support the support green practices.

The expense of a college degree has inflated in recent years, resulting in a plethora of complaints from numerous sources. A few would argue that it would be more reasonable to distribute tuition funds to practices such as decreasing the costs of books, improving faculty wages, or offering more financial aid to students. As a college student, I can certainly appreciate such claims. However, based on the current administration’s implementation of practices concerning innovative technology, student safety, and sustainability, how could anyone argue with the allocation of university funds?



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