Build and come

Anyone remotely affiliated with Wayne State University can’t help but feel a little ambivalent about all the new construction on campus. Sure, that $15 million Recreation and Fitness Center looks pretty cool (at that price it should), but is it really the best way to spend the students’ cash? For all the bureaucracy, WSU still provides an excellent education at a price accessible to almost everyone. President Irvin Reid’s theory on construction seems to be that you have to spend money to get money — make students and alumni willing to plunk down more dollars because, well, there’s lots of construction on campus. At the same time, WSU faces large class sizes, TAs with sometimes marginal English skills and a parking situation that is — as any student will tell you — an utter bitch. Does all this really make sense? Are the students even asking these questions? They should be, because it’s their money being spent, with a huge law library renovation almost completed, a new welcoming center on Woodward on the way and a liberal arts building being planned. The point isn’t that construction is bad per se, but the focus of improvement needs to be, first and foremost, education. Aaron Warshaw is the Metro Times listings editor. E-mail him at [email protected]
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