USF is learning that running a state-of-the-art building isn’t cheap — and that it might come at a cost to students.
It seems administrators got a little too excited with the idea of a new, pretty Marshall Student Center — one that would attract new students and make returning students feel more at home — and forgot to take a look at the big picture.
Admittedly, it is a beautiful building to walk into and surely demands “Bull Pride.”
With all the marketing and money being put into the image of the University, it’s no wonder that in 2003, students agreed to pay a flat Student Union fee so a new Marshall Student Center could be built.
Unfortunately, many of the students who flipped some cash never got to enjoy the new center. This year’s students pay a flat fee at the beginning of every semester to cover the bills and incoming students may face an even higher fee.
After all the meticulous planning, administrators forgot one important thing: Who pays the bills?
According to the Tampa Tribune, the University paid $21,211.08 in September 2007 to operate the old Marshall Center. The bill for the Marshall Student Center this September, however, came out to $103,506.26.
The University covers these bills with Student Union fees. At this rate, however, administrators may look into raising those fees.
And while there’s all this talk of where money will come from, Student Government is rallying to spend even more.
SG wants to look into keeping the Library and Marshall Student Center open 24 hours a day the week prior to and the week of finals. The figures detailing how much it’ll cost to keep those hours, though, have yet to be released.
From a monetary standpoint, there is simply no way to justify leaving these buildings open so long.
Yes, both see an increase in traffic during finals weeks, but at the end of the day, it all boils down to money. It costs money to staff these buildings and keep them operating.
And while the University debates the logic of keeping the MSC and Library open 24-7 for two weeks, the bigger picture — who pays the big bills — appears to get lost in the shuffle. USF’s students may end up footing the bill for poor planning on the part of their administration.