Look: college is hard work if done properly. I'm a scientist with a degree in history from a rigorous college. I remember how hard it was personally and for everyone around me (both the humanities and science students). Any student who wants to do well in a traditional college major (but especially in STEM) ---even at a community college --- has to be serious about studying and work very hard. If I had been spending my 19-year-old time at a tiki spa instead of swotting at chemistry, I would have ended up with Cs or worse and never would have got into a decent graduate student position.
The thing is, those tiki spas and lazy rivers appeal to kids at an age when they're extremely vulnerable to distraction. I was a pretty serious student, but if we'd had $60 million worth of luxury amenities at my college, I don't know if I would have been able to walk away from them enough to keep my grades up.
All of that. (Except for the degree part).
Telling young people that not only CAN they "have it all" but that they must expect
that modifications will be made so that it is given to them as some kind of entitlement? This is seriously twisted. It's as cruel, in its own way, as telling women that they, too, can be business executives and still manage to homeschool their happy and nurtured four children, all while being Martha Stewart in their free hours. NOT happening. It's just not reality-- it's delusional.
Each and every one of them only gets 24 hours in each day. Barring the use of stimulants, most of them need to spend a minimum of 1/3 of their time sleeping or attending to basic personal care.
Beyond that, this leaves a mere 16 hours a day to attending class, building a social network that will carry one through young adulthood, and actually studying, probably harder than they ever imagined they'd NEED to.
I'll also argue, here, that this narrows what it means to be a college student in the first place. Now, all sorts of people-- in fact, a majority of the people I knew in college in the 1980's-- would be considered "non-traditional" because they are working part time, attending to their own medical needs, returning to civilian life from military service, finishing a degree they abandoned a decade back, trying to juggle single parenthood, etc.
Why aren't THOSE people "college students" worthy of the title? Most of them are better suited to doing the core part of any post-secondary institution's mission, after all-- they are motivated, have maturity and they know what they are there to do.
It's disturbing to me when student fees and dorm residency/dining plans cost twice what tuition does-- and this is true at some regional public unis now. I have to ponder what it means, and consider possible explanations-- is it truly that it costs THAT much more to house and feed college students? Or is it that they are under-paying instructional faculty and shorting facilities maintenance so drastically? I guess the numbers tell the story-- it's probably not the latter if they don't have a lot of adjuncts in classrooms, and it's probably not the former if the value for housing + dining for 9mo is in line with the local cost of living. Here, students move off campus because it is cheaper
to live off campus with a roommate than to fork over what it costs to live ON campus. That in spite of the fact that the Sysco trucks don't roll up to the apartment buildings. LOL. (Yeah, not thinking that the food is THAT good, in spite of the promises of four star dining. It still looks like Pizza and formica tables to me, in spite of the new lighting and fancy carpeting.)
Have I mentioned that they make all freshman live ON campus? Hmmm.