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EDITORIAL: Dorms before FAU stadium

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EDITORIAL: Dorms before FAU stadium

"In this economy especially, Florida Atlantic University's deal to privatize a housing complex makes sense for many reasons.

FAU trustees on Wednesday approved an agreement with Crocker Partners to build and operate housing for 1,200 students that is scheduled to be available for the fall 2011 semester. The move is a step toward the commuter school's goal of becoming a more traditional campus. Crocker Partners will develop and manage two new residence halls and oversee the existing dorms on the Boca Raton campus. The new dorms, part of FAU's Innovation Village, will consist of two- and four-bedroom apartment-style units that will be leased to upperclassmen. The first phase calls for 1,200 beds by August 2011. Crocker will build the second 1,200-bed phase later."

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Re: EDITORIAL: Dorms before FAU stadium

I'm glad we're getting media support on this. Gas will never be cheap again and I think student housing makes sense since distant driving will be so expensive. A traditional campus also means traditional students who really get into the college thing and will continue to support the university after they graduate. Many non traditional students see college as a means to an end and go through the motions to complete the degree requirements which will get them a better job. There isn't any real attachment to the college.

So why do we want a traditional campus? To ensure future alumni support and raise academic standards by attracting better students.

I've been thinking about this commuter school thing lately. I don't have the info to look up the establishing of FAU and what the legislature was thinking at the time. But a few points.

FAU was established in 1961. At this time there was no continuous I95 running through Florida. The best I can estimate, the population of Boca Raton in 1961 was about 10,000 people, maybe less. Typical of Florida, probably a large % of Boca residents were older. Dorms were completed within the year after the university first opened. New dorms were continuously built up thru 1969 as the university slowly grew. Before the university started growing by leaps and bounds it housed a large % of the students. About 20%. The dorm that was just torn down a couple years ago was the last dorm built for a while. It was finished in 1969. At that time FAU had an enrollment of about 5,000 and housed about 1,100. All on the Boca campus. The next dorm wasn't built for decades later after FAU had tripled in size. FAU was allowed to become a commuter college.

Anyway, my point is, I don't think FAU was ORIGINALLY intended to be a "commuter school". Why put a commuter school in a tiny city (in 1961) with no interstate access and a large portion of the population was older? I know the turnpike is there but it is a toll road. Commuter schools usually are built in large cities with enough population to draw from. FIU is a good example. It took FAU 5 years to grow to FIU's opening day enrollment. I know FAU opened its doors in 1964 but decisions were made long before that where to build the new university.

So FAU is returning to what it originally was supposed to be.

FAU - THE REAL SLEEPING GIANT
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Re: EDITORIAL: Dorms before FAU stadium

illinoisowl said

Anyway, my point is, I don't think FAU was ORIGINALLY intended to be a "commuter school". Why put a commuter school in a tiny city (in 1961) with no interstate access? I know the turnpike is there but it is a toll road. Commuter schools usually are built in large cities with enough population to draw from. FIU is a good example. It took FAU 5 years to grow to FIU's opening day enrollment.

That's a great point Illinois…
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Re: EDITORIAL: Dorms before FAU stadium

I don't know how supportive that editorial really is.  Yeah, "dorms before stadium"… fine.  But how many other things come before the stadium in the minds of the PBP editorial board?  Trust me, even if they get their wish of dorms before stadium, they won't be any more in favor of the stadium than they are right now.  They're still warming up to the fact that we have a football team.  And that still doesn't sit well with them.

Read the article again – the same old rhetoric is still there.  The last paragraph is yet another swipe at the stadium.  Fortunately no one in Boca reads the Post.  The tone isn't as mean and direct as it used to be, but their stance hasn't changed.
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Re: EDITORIAL: Dorms before FAU stadium

illinoisowl said

Many non traditional students see college as a means to an end and go through the motions to complete the degree requirements which will get them a better job. There isn't any real attachment to the college.

That's exactly the issue. FAU markets itself as a university of convenience rather than a university of choice. That needs to change.


P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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