The Maroon

Letter to the Editor: Housing situation seems greedy

Theresa Bullington

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It is apparent to the casual observer that there are more students on campus this year than there were last year, or in several previous years. If any current senior or junior has walked through Biever Hall recently, they might have noticed that every room in that dorm is now triple occupancy. When I started attending this university, the idea that three people would live in one of those rooms would have been appalling. Not only are there more students living on campus and being charged more to live in cramped conditions, some students are even being bussed in from dormitories on the University of New Orleans campus.

What does this all mean for the campus as a whole? I think it points to an abandonment of the university’s commitment to their Jesuit ideals. On the mission statements page of the Loyola University New Orleans website, there are a few points that I don’t believe are even attempting to be met this year in regards to the experience of the students. “That a personal concern for and respect for each person in the university community is evident in all its programs, practices and services.”

Really? How are you respecting students by making them pay through the nose to live in barrack-like conditions? How concerned are you for their health when there are now 60 students sharing one bathroom and shower area?

Not only is the entire on-campus living situation a wreck, but the student to teacher ratio is also completely out of whack. The university has hired additional staff, but how can it claim that there is an attempt to form “(A) learning community among students, faculty and staff marked by personal interaction, mutual concern and mutual respect” when the current student to teacher ratio in the school is actually 18:1, not the 12:1 they erroneously claim on the website. Not only is there not going to be one-on-one attention in classes with more than 25 students, most people attending the university will be lucky if they have one professor who remembers their names, let alone has “mutual respect and concern” for them.

It seems rather plain to me that the university is seeking profit over student experience. Why else would tuition rates go up almost $2000 a year, while admitting even more students, skyrocketing their net gains? I understand that the university is attempting to expand, but I feel that attempt is wholly misguided. Instead of focusing on expanding programs or improving them, the university is spending millions on new buildings. As pretty as the campus will eventually be, and as much as those future students will probably enjoy and get use out of the updated classrooms and amenities, the university has forgotten about us: the current students. The ones living in a messy, noisy construction zone. The ones being shoved into too small living spaces and forced to pay outrageously for the “privilege.” The administration needs to decide whether they are going to uphold their espoused Jesuit values or turn this university into a cash-cow. They can have one or the other – not both.

Sincerely,

Theresa Bullington, philosophy and medieval studies senior

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Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola
Letter to the Editor: Housing situation seems greedy