Many new developments have taken place on the UAlbany campus over the years. However, all of these developments and improvements come at a price. Over the years, UAlbany students have weighed in on what they would like to see on campus. Though there are many different opinions on what is and is not needed, many UAlbany students have something to say about where their money is being spent. Team Number 1’s Nelson Ocana interviews three UAlbany students (Dhani, Michael, and Forrest) to see what they have to say.
Dhani, Michael, and Forrest are all seniors at UAlbany. They are all Communications majors in Professor Masahiro Yamamoto’s Studies in Public Persuasion course. They have some concerns about how their tuition money is being spent and how decisions are being made on campus.
How long have you been going to UAlbany?
Michael: I’ve been going here for two and a half years because I’m a transfer, but all of us are seniors.
Dhani: I’ve been here for four years and I’m graduating in May.
Forrest: I’ve been here for all four years.
Do you have any concerns about the campus?
Michael: I have a concern with the way money is being spent. I feel like money should be spent more on the living conditions of the students than anything else.
Forrest: I’d say that I think students should have more of a say in what money goes where. Like for example, I think more money should be spent on expanding more of the gyms and adding gyms to parts of campus that don’t have any like the Freedom Apartments.
Dhani: I feel like student needs aren’t being met. The school constantly asks us what we’;d like to see on campus, but we never really get it. And if we do, it comes at an extra cost to our tuition.
What new developments on campus do you agree with and feel have been helpful to the student body?
Michael: I like the extension of the campus center. I also like the comfy lounge chairs that they put in the lecture centers. And I do like that there are more water filtration stations in more places on campus.
Forrest: I think it was good that they updated the fountain and made it nicer. I think the campus center addition will be nice too.
Dhani:I agree with Forrest that the upgrades to the fountain have been helpful for us. I think it’s a good place to study and hang out with friends. I wish they would bring back Fountain Day though.
Do you feel like the new developments on campus have bettered your experience on campus?
Michael: I feel like the developments have helped our experience on campus but on more of an aesthetic level than on a level that we really needed. I feel like the things that they improved on didn’t really need to be improved on and there are more important things that students need.
Forrest: I do think that it is added to how nice the campus looks, but it can sometimes be inconvenient trying to get to class when there’s construction in the way. Especially when they work on so many projects at the same time.
Dhani: Some of them have and some have not. I like that the Student Association tries to get great performers for parkfest every year, however, I do not agree with the increase in price and the fact that we have to pay to go to the concert on top of that.
Do you feel all the extra fees on tuition are being used properly?
Michael: No. I feel like they aren’t being used properly but they are being used to recruit more students to the campus instead of bettering the school experience. The additions make the school look fancier but aren’t really necessary.
Forrest: No. For example, every student pays the extra amount for parkfest in tuition but we all aren’t guaranteed a ticket.
Dhani: I also think the parkfest situation needs to change. Additionally, it isn’t fair that students from other schools can come and buy their ticket for just a small fee when we pay an extra amount in our tuition in addition to the price of the ticket itself.
Do you think the school takes into consideration what the students have to say or how students feel about where their money is being spent?
Michael: Not at all. I feel like the school needs to have a better way of listening to what the students have to say. A lot of times they make executive decisions without hearing what the students have to say. I feel like if the students had a say in what activities go on, the developments in the school would be a lot different and more helpful.
Forrest: I think to a certain extent. If there’s a problem on campus, I think the school tries to hear us out, but when it’s something that the school is spending money on, when they decide on a project they usually go through with it regardless.
Dhani: I think the school tries to get the students input on certain things, but those things don’t always happen. For example, going back to the parkfest situation, there was an outcry on social media from students about having to pay for a ticket or students from other schools being able to go, and it doesn’t seem like anything will change any time soon.
What do you see other schools doing that UAlbany should be doing?
Michael: Other schools are more interactive with campus development and student relationships. Other schools seem to really care what students have to say and I feel like other schools are more involved in bettering the actual lives of students.
Forrest: Maybe the school should create more events that many students can participate in together like the block party in the beginning of the year or fountain day. And as well as putting these events into effect, marketing them so that a lot of students know about them would be beneficial as well.
Dhani: I feel like other schools have big events that SUNY students leave their schools to attend such as Cortaca, but UAlbany doesn’t have a similar tradition. Students come to visit for parkfest, but they really shouldn’t even be able to in the first place because it’s paid for in UAlbany student’s tuition.
UAlbany has many different ideas on what can make the campus better and improve the lives of its students. But while the university has many ideas, the student body does as well. The views of the students are what should be taken into consideration the most. After all, they are the ones that pay to attend as well as live and spend the most time there. If UAlbany, as well as all of the other universities around the world, listen to the opinions of students like Michael, Forrest, and Dhani, they can improve the well-being and lives of their students. This may very well make college that much more enjoyable and worthwhile.
Do you have any suggestions on what your school should do? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image courtesy of 401(K) 2012