Blue, Gold, and extremely expensive

Alex McLean

This year, Augustana College has begun a “re-beautification” process of the campus and the slough. According to an email sent by Keri Rursch on April 17th, titled “Blue, Gold, and Beautiful,” the administration will be spending one million dollars on campus renovation. This budget comes from an initiative sponsored by President Bahls and the Board of Trustees.
There is no mention of another increase in tuition to cover a spending this large, but the email also makes known the list of the possible areas of advancement. However, missing among the list is a mention of improvement of student dorms.
While I’m excited to see this amazing campus become even more of a stark difference from the surrounding Rock Island, the lack of detail surrounding the effect of these prices on our tuition and the purposeful ignorance of student dorms is worrisome. Currently, our tuition is upwards of $50,000 and when inspecting the billing section in Arches, some students have their subtotals in the $70,000s.
I love this campus, but the beautification of paths is really the last thing we should worry about. A central focal point is also a cool idea, but there are serious issues with housing on this campus. The number of issues with Seminary border on ridiculous, my own rooming assignment in Andreen requires my roommate and I to have to push our bunks backward in order to access our closets. I want to see this campus improve, but the administration should first focus on the incoming 2022 class and the 2021 housing issues. Once students are comfortably living, we can begin to focus on more outwardly features.