The USF Bulls beat the University of Central Florida Knights 64-12 in Saturday’s game, but UCF remains far ahead of USF when it comes to making its campus liveable and appealing to resident students.
As detailed in Sunday’s St. Petersburg Times, many prospective students pick UCF over other State University System schools because its campus boasts a town center- style commercial area near the dormitories that gives students the college-town feel despite its suburban location.
According to the Times, there is a Starbucks, a Barnes & Noble bookstore, an English pub, a hair salon, a concert hall and basketball courts. A post office, a pharmacy, and a convenience store are also slated to be built.
UCF is also building apartment-style dorms, making the campus more attractive to some budding students than even the University of Florida’s classic college-town atmosphere, the Times reports.
There’s also a nature trail on the UCF campus, which – thanks to smart growth-management and planning – is organized so that dorms and classrooms are at the center, making it pedestrian-friendly and inviting.
Contrast this with the USF-Tampa campus.
Although the University is rebuilding a new student union, and a new apartment-style residence hall with an eatery is planned, dining amenities are virtually non-existent during evenings and on weekends, as the Tampa Room food court in the Marshall Center closes at 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and at 3 p.m. Friday, and is simply not open on weekends. Freshens is open only during the school-week, as is Burger King, the Express Shop located in the engineering building, the Health Science Café, the College of Business Administration Café, and Top of the Palms.
The only on-campus dining options available during the weekend include Einstein Bagels, The Fresh Food Company, the Bulls Den Café, the C-3 Convenience store and the library Starbucks. Subway is open Monday through Saturday.
Simply, the quality of life for resident students at USF must be improved if the University wants to attract more resident-students, a goal of President Judy Genshaft and other administrators. There’s a Domino’s Pizza on the UCF campus that’s open until 3 a.m. every day, in addition to a coffee shop and a dining-hall. And the University of Florida has more than 10 campus dining options open Sunday, i
ncluding Taco Bell and Wendy’s.
If USF wants to attract more resident students – a goal that administrators think will boost the University’s chances of getting into the American Association of Universities – USF must revamp its campus by including more restaurants and more walking-distance and town-like offerings.