The Phyllis P. Marshall Center is a great place; with good food, good information and great speakers. It’s one of the best stops on campus. However, the university does not have the right to raise tuition to renovate it, when it isn’t really a necessary improvement. If it really wants the renovation to happen, the administration and Student Government should find another way to pay for the project.
Student Body president Mike Griffin said in a story in Monday’s Oracle that the project to renovate the Marshall Center would cost in excess of $50 million. This is the same Mike Griffin who vehemently opposed raising tuition to pay for better parking, something the university is painfully in need of, and the same Mike Griffin who said in the Aug. 27 issue of The Oracle that he’s “an uptight guy when it comes to finances,” and that “we could do a lot more with what we’ve got.” How does the same person who made those comments turn around and advocate a raise in tuition for a project in which costs will probably exceed $60 million by the time ground is broken in the new student union?
Thankfully, Griffin answered that question for everyone in Monday’s Oracle: “the goal is to get the financing approved before I leave office so that by next year we’ll get under way with construction.” Griffin must have realized that this would be an excellent addition to his resume, hence the new emphasis on raising tuition.
SG might argue that a better student union is needed to accommodate the growing student body, but if asked, most students would probably choose better parking over a student union. Afterall, USF is a commuter school.
In reality, it’s a great idea, and in the future, if funds can be procured, then it’d be great, but SG needs to find another way to foot the bill for this face-lift.