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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:54 AM
Original message
College students living in the lap of luxury
Housing is moving away from the dorms and cracker-box apartments of old as part of a national trend. At USC, tanning beds, hot tubs, HD televisions and a club room are all on the amenities list. But it doesn't come cheaply.


USC students Tyler Bibbins, left, and Erick Harris use the hot tub at the West 27th Place apartments near USC. Among other amenities, the $55-million complex is slated to get a Five Guys Burger and Fries outlet on the ground floor. (Katie Falkenberg, For The Times / September 4, 2011)

By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times
September 4, 2011

Odds are slim that the cast of "Jersey Shore" will ever enroll at USC. But if they could, TV's legendary sybarites would find that gym-tan-laundry is just the beginning at a new luxury apartment complex near campus.

Nearly every detail at West 27th Place is upmarket, from the fountains, landscaping and custom outdoor light fixtures to the granite countertops and big-screen HD television sets in every unit. There are also televisions in the well-appointed gym, along with a professional-grade Sundazzler a walk-in tanning booth that resembles a science-fiction movie prop.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries, the East Coast's answer to In-N-Out, is building an outlet on the ground floor. Other restaurants are set to follow.

Making margaritas? The kitchens include ice makers. Revelry can spill over to the billiard room, swimming pool and a hot tub that is supposed to hold five people.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-luxury-student-ho...

Good times for the children of the privileged few....
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
1. LOL--I'm trying to convince my son to go to a local college and commute to save money
on room and board next year--this is ridiculous.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
2. I live in a college town; we have a couple of these.
It's just slightly better off-campus housing. Yes, the units are furnished (one complex put a HDTV in every living room), but it's not quite as glamorous as this article makes it out to be.

They're not much more than nice apartments, and a definite change for the better from thirty-year-old-plus dorms.
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
3. This sort of thing has a lot to do with skyrocketing tuition.
Colleges have been on a building binge since the 90s and feel that they must compete with one another to snag the dwindling pool of students, thus condo/dorms, health clubs, hot tubs, etc.

The extra money from the constant tuition increases has not gone into the classroom, of course, but into luxury facilities and new "student life" bureaucrats (who are basically cruise directors).

Good thread.
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enlightenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Isn't that the truth!
The uni in my town - UNLV - decided to build a spiffy new sport facility a number of years ago, paid for with a student fee that increased every semester. It was supposed to be free use for students, but of course now they can't afford that and so charge another automatic fee regardless of whether or not the student uses the facility.

Then they decided to build a spiffy new student union; same deal.

They have built several multi-story car parks as well.

To be fair, they have also built several new classroom complexes over the last ten years - unfortunately, they still don't have enough space for what should be their primary function, instruction (and of course the moron who designed the rooms gave no thought to little things like: if you lower the projection screen, can you still use the whiteboard? Can students students on the right-hand side of the room see the screen/whiteboard that is tucked into an alcove in the left-front of the room? Does the automatic security lock on the door unlatch during class time, or does someone have to open it from the inside every time a student tries to enter? )



But they do have a nifty climbing wall.

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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Bingo! I have seen all the things you point out,
the constant fee increases, the climbing walls, the luxury dorms, the fine dining, and the classrooms designed by people who don't teach. They sure look nice, though, don't they?

Frankly, I would rather go back to the days of cinderblock dorms and have people be able to afford college without a lifetime of crushing debt. Wouldn't that be nice?
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enlightenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #7
14. Wouldn't that be a miracle?
I honestly do not think the kids care how plush the surroundings are as long as things work. If the classrooms are habitable, if the dorm rooms are habitable, if the food in the cafeteria won't make you sick. They do care if they can see what the professor is writing on the board or showing on the screen; they do care if their sleeping quarters are safe and the toilets and showers function. I do not think they really care if they have a hot tub or a climbing wall or extra comfy couches to lounge on in the student union or a choice of restaurants on campus.

When you give people too many choices, they start to lose the ability to choose wisely. When you reduce the choices, people discover that many of the things they thought were necessary are not needed at all. I'm not suggesting they should be deprived, but I think we could reevaluate what is necessary and what is not.
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #14
35. I hate to sound like my dad, but in my day...
we did manage to get by just fine without a cruise director. We managed to have fun without a bevy of "student life coordinators" thinking of things for us to do, and making our drab, uniform dorm rooms individual was something we put some thought and effort into. (I'm thinking of the guys on my hall who put up beaded curtains and covered the walls with grasspaper, going for a Jungle Room look.)

I don't think the students are demanding luxury so much as the marketing bureaucrats in the administration are pushing it, along with president who want their names on lots of cornerstones. Gotta have a legacy, you know.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #6
17. And corporate taxes should be paying for all this, not student fees.
It's basically training for their workforce. Let the corporations pay for it in taxes and the public decide how the funds are best used. Our public universities are also being forced into becoming corporations themselves due to a lack of tax revenue.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
32. The number of administrators has skyrocketed in the last 20 years
As have their salaries. And yes, many of these administrators are just that, bureaucrats, who shuffle paper and produce Power Point presentations.
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #32
36. I see that every day. And no matter how often we are told
Edited on Sun Sep-04-11 10:39 PM by QC
that there's just no money to hire faculty, every August brings more freshly-hired bureaucrats with uncertain purposes.
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Dreamer Tatum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:04 AM
Response to Original message
4. More than 60% of USC students receive financial aid
So it's likely that many of those kids are financing that lifestyle.
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tritsofme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
5. They share bedrooms?
And I assume the vast majority of residents are not couples.

Maybe not a big deal for them? But for all that money it sure jumped out at me.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
8. This is one of the reasons tuition is so fucking high.
This and the college execs' outrageous salaries.
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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. You're not reading closely enough.
This article isn't talking about a dorm, it's describing an off-campus apartment complex.
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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
9. So?
I have indoor plumbing, electricity, and air conditioning, luxuries my grandfather didn't have growing up. Just because this bit of wealth has escaped the enclaves of Bel-Air and Beverly Hills and is benefiting students, I don't have a problem with it. Maybe we could pry a bit more money out of the enclaves of the 1% and see that more people benefit. Maybe they could build similar type cribs for the students cross-town at the public school.
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. Yup. California without a hot tub is not living. Why deprive students?
For people who know me, maybe there should be a not sarcasm tag.

--imm
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TheMightyFavog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #9
22. Air conditioning?
Our dorms back at my college didn't have air conditioning, except for the basement computer labs. Although this year they just opened a new residence hall that boasts all "suite style" dorm rooms.

Really, Why? I know the building it replaced was old and small when compared to the rest of the dorms on campus but What is wrong with a 10x12 cinderblock shared room with internet access, WiFi and cable TV? Oh, wait, you mean UWSP can make more money by offering the fancy rooms as a premium?
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #22
37. Ask Tyler Clementi.
As someone who has gone through at least four candidates for the "Shitty Roommate Hall of Fame" I can't recommend suite style dorms where everyone has at least a tiny bit of privacy highly enough.
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Unvanguard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
10. It's not entirely clear from the article, but it sounds like the students pay for this themselves.
Edited on Sun Sep-04-11 10:54 AM by Unvanguard
Not covered under tuition. So, whatever, then. I wouldn't pay for this myself, nor would I pay for it for my children (if I had any), but if other people want to and can afford it, they're free to. :shrug:

Edit: See here:

It doesn't come cheaply, of course. A one-bedroom unit at West 27th Place, which can house two students, may cost more than $2,500 a month, more than twice the county's median price. A four-bedroom, two-bath unit shared by eight students starts at $680 apiece, or more than $5,400. Parking is extra at $150 a month, but judging by the garage many can afford it. Among the student vehicles there on the first day of school were late model Mercedes-Benz, BMWs and sport utility vehicles.

Still, other students are hard-pressed to pay for school and books, let alone a lavish apartment. Over in Westwood, UCLA is racing to add more affordable housing on campus, where demand has always been high and dormitories operate on a nonprofit basis.

Residence halls for about 1,500 undergrads are under construction. Compared with the hotel-like digs of some colleges, these units are modest. Students will live as many as three to a room, share bathrooms and eat in dining halls. But the rooms will be wired for the latest electronics and built to strict environmental standards that include separate trash chutes for recycling and outdoor sun shades on the windows.

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BOHICA12 Donating Member (231 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #10
34. In Tallahassee such amenities cost ..
$420 + utilities for a 4 bedroom/4 bath private apartment complex - pool, workout area, HD TV, Internet & Cable. But then the State College increases tuition and fees by 15% and will probably do so again next year. Yikes.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
11. It's not just for the privilege
UNF has a dorm with a lazy river! This is what happens when the real estate construction has contacts on the university board.
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Honeycombe8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
12. Tanning beds cause cancer, and hot tubs are avenues for disgusting bacteria
that cause fungus and other disgusting human conditions. Yuk. Add to that drunk college kids, esp guys, who puke & urinate & pass out...and you've got a disgusting assortment of dangerous possibilities. No way I'd let my kid participate. If I had one.
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IndyPragmatist Donating Member (556 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #12
20. Sadly, those actions aren't just guys anymore
It's now cool for girls to get black-out drunk. Ten years ago, this wasn't the case as much. Yes, girls went out and drank just as much as guys. However, they made an effort to stay safe. They always went out in groups to places they knew and always had someone sober to take care of them.

Now, girls, just like guys are getting black-out drunk all the time and are proud of it. It used to be that only guys would brag about not remember what they did or puking on this or that. A lot of guys have always used that as a badge of honor. I've noticed girls do the same. A lot of current music and TV is glamorizing binge drinking (Jersey Shore, the musician Kesha, etc) to women.

Last night, Indiana University played Ball State University at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. I did not go to the game, but I went to a few bars with some friends. I expect to see drunk men stumbling out of bars, I'm used to that. But I was blown away with the amount of college girls that were stumbling drunkenly into busy streets, urinating in clear view of many people on the sidewalk, throwing up, or just stumbling around by themselves.

I was talking to my friend, and just a few years ago when we were both in college, it wasn't like this. Girls on campus were always better than guys. They were more responsible about things (drinking especially). This is not the case anymore. Few people are willing to take any responsibility for their own actions anymore.
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Celeborn Skywalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. If guys can do it,
girls can do it. No double standards. And do you have data to back up the assertion that binge drinking has increased? Not saying you're wrong, but I'd like to see evidence.
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Honeycombe8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. I'm a feminist, for sure. But there are biological differences, as well as sociological
differences between the genders. No doubt about it. Guys, because of testosterone, are wilder, cruder, and they piss farther because of one biological difference. Then there is the male psyche; a lot is built into their psyche that has to do with competition with other males, being the alpha, bravery, force, intelligence, etc. It's a guy thing. They're not as much into democracy as females are.

The male and female brain even operate differently. Viva la difference!
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Honeycombe8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #20
26. Hate to hear that. As a former wild child myself, I still think being a gal...
is different from being a guy, and requires different behavior. For one thing, gals are targeted for certain crimes. And despite how cool gals think it is to have fist fights, etc.....if you notice, you'll never hear a guy say something like, "Wow, man. I love that girl. She turns me on. Just look at how she pummels that other girl. I'd love for her to have my children, and us spend a life together." Ain't gonna happen.
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blueamy66 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 02:56 AM
Response to Reply #20
39. How sexist is this post?
nt
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
16. That's why USC's nickname is the University of Spoiled Children.
Public university students' experience is quite different.
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evilDonkey Donating Member (32 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
18. Must be nice NM
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
19. Doesn't USC stand for University of Spoiled Children?
;)
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LastLiberal in PalmSprings Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. USC, where you pay a fee and get a degree.
My nephew's parents went into hock to send their eldest son through USC's government science program.

Now he's working for a company that sells specialty auto parts over the internet. He's an "order fulfillment specialist," which is a job that could be filled by a high school graduate.

He makes more a month than his Dad, however.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #19
31. One of the Walton granddaughters literally cheated her way through USC for four years
She gave back the degree once USC started an investigation that likely would have resulted in her degree being revoked.

Here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9757284/#.TmQ2LY4gTTw
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Puregonzo1188 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
21. This is really not the norm. I am currently enrolled at a private liberal arts college
and I ensure there are no luxury apartments--though there is a gym...

In fact, due to a housing shortage part of the student body lives in FEMA trailers.
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. I got to a small private business school
They just build a new dorm that opened this fall. It doesn't have a gym, tanning beds, etc. I wouldn't consider them "luxury" though I've known students that lived in the dorms and they aren't bad. There's a gym on-campus that all students can use though.
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Puregonzo1188 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Oh no I wasn't complaining at all, I live in a dorm and it's not bad at all.
I just want to be clear to all of the people in this thread that seem to think the cost of tuition is going up in order to pay for tanning beds that this not in anyway the norm.
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #29
40. I didn't think you were complaining
Edited on Mon Sep-05-11 03:53 PM by tammywammy
I was confirming, it's not like the OP where I go either! :)
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
24. All the amenities plus melanoma booths. Party on!
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:25 PM
Response to Original message
30. USC is the University of Spoiled Children
The typical student there is a fraternity asshole or a spoiled sorority princess. There are other colleges and universities like that too.
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alcibiades_mystery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:27 PM
Response to Original message
33. This Thread is a Comer for the September 2011 Grumpy Old Man Award


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blueamy66 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 02:27 AM
Response to Original message
38. AZ State has these apt complexes as well....
Edited on Mon Sep-05-11 02:30 AM by blueamy66
alot different from when I was in school....

Read about police incidents weekly in the paper at these apts.....
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Abin Sur Donating Member (647 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
41. If they (or more realistically, their parents) can afford it...so what?
I would no more get worked up about this than I do when I see someone driving a Ferrari. More power to them.
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