Monday, November 14, 2005

Fees and Helping Students

The COLS listserv has been busy over the weekend. Two substantial discussions have developed over the issue of the segregated fees here on campus:

First, there is a question about the parking situation. A few writers have been questioning the need for a new parking structure after the acquisition of Cub Foods. Do we really need to increase the parking costs for this structure if there are so many new spaces across the river? At least one person has suggested that we should instead be trying to force students and staff out of their cars. The high fees are one way of encouraging students to leave their cars at home and staff to find alternative methods of reaching campus.

It would be nice to see such a cultural shift away from cars on campus. Students who flee during the weekends might become more deeply integrated into campus life. If staff moved closer or used other forms of transportation, we might see a broad revitalization of the center of the city and less polution in town. Far fetched, however.

Second, an ongoing discussion about switching to a textbook rental system. It apparently saves students money at places like UW Eau Claire. Faculty, however, are somewhat restricted in their choice of textbooks and the interval during which they can change. I don't change that often, so a 2-3 year cycle would not bother me, but others have expressed a real problem with the model.

That is my update about the listserv--I am not inspired enough by the conversation to post the actual comments--but it is a worthy enough endeavor to think about the issues of student costs...


Dave Diamond said...

Judging by the way the faculty bitch and moan every time they see a student in the Clow lot, I doubt the denizens of Oshkosh's own Ivory Tower are going to lead the way on alternative transportation.

Lake Winneblogo said...

Thanks for your comments. I think that you are right, but we of the ivory tower are much better positioned to change our driving habits than many in Oshkosh.

There are also very significant voices on campus that are taking small steps to make UWO a more green campus.