Editor’s Note: This piece was written by Zoe Zajac of Professor John-Erik Koslosky’s Newswriting course and was edited by Ian O’Donnell of Koslosky’s Editing for Journalism course.
BLOOMSBURG— Bloomsburg University has been invested in keeping the environment on campus welcoming. This includes paying for the landscape to stay beautiful and maintained.
This year the university spent approximately 1.1 million dollars on landscaping and grounds operations from July1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. This data was reported by the Bloomsburg University Budget Office. The majority of the expenses related to campus maintenance and beautification go to the salary and benefits of those who work on the campus grounds. A smaller portion goes to the operation costs of this maintenance.
The number of students currently enrolled at BU is 9,658 according to the BU website. When the cost of grounds maintenance and landscaping is broken up it would mean that each student pays approximately $114 annually for these campus operations.
Many students view this spending as a good investment and believe that it has a positive effect on their learning, but there is some disagreement with the amount of money that goes towards it.
The appearance of the campus grounds is an element that attracts new students to attend every year. The college’s “campus profile” page on their website prides itself on making “A campus that feels like home”. As seen in the amount that the university spends annually it’s obvious that this aspect of the college is a priority for BU.
Maramonne Houseknecht is an Associate Director of Operations for admissions on campus. She believes that the look of the campus environment “definitely” has an effect on the decision making of students that are considering attending BU. She says that physical appearance of the campus encourages students to envision themselves living on campus. “Our facilities show how much we care about the campus environment,” she says. So, the investment in the landscape of the campus can be directly seen through the benefit that it offers the university and its students.
Some students had opinions they wanted to share. Many agreed that the spending is justified. Logan Bullock, a junior, said, “I feel like they’re spending the right amount. The campus feels like home to me.” Many other student’s share this opinion. It has also been suggested that this environment on campus aides in student learning. Kayla Davis, sophomore, stated that the atmosphere that the campus grounds has a positive effect on her studies and help her focus.
Not all students believe that the amount spent on school grounds are appropriate. Hailey Didget, junior, shared her thoughts on the topic. “The university could spend less on the landscape and put it to better use.” She believes that the money could go toward scholarships or something more beneficial to students. Another student, Nicholas Sherwood, sophomore, believes that the college should find more “cost effective” ways of taking care of the campus.
Although this differing opinion exists there is no doubt that the majority opinion on grounds spending is that it’s an asset to Bloomsburg University. The positive effect on students and staff seems to be worth the cost