Missouri State University installed an aquatic center and lazy river. (Wikipedia)

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Public Universities Should Stop Spending Money on Lavish Amenities

No student needs a water park to study, writes James V. Koch.

In order to attract and woo students, public universities are spending money offering lavish amenities that have nothing to do with education, writes James V. Koch in The New York Times. The newest excessive trend is lazy rivers, which have been installed at the Universities of Alabama, Iowa and Missouri. Louisiana State University may have won though, when they created a 536-foot-long “leisure river” in the shape of the letters LSU. The lazy river was part of an $85 million renovation and expansion of its gym. But here’s the thing: it was LSU students who paid the bill. College is already incredibly expensive, and according to the College Board, tuition and fees at public four-year institutions grew more than 60 percent over the past 10 years. State budgets for higher education have been cut, and so students have to make up the difference. At LSU, the lazy river was financed entirely by student fees, an addendum to their annual tuition. Koch writes that it is the responsibility of the trustees of public universities to ensure affordable, quality education. But, he says, that doesn’t happen in practice.

Read the full piece at The New York Times