The Nation recently published an article, The Gentrification of Higher Ed, and we beg you to read it, especially if you’re a fan of the University of Arizona!
In it, Michelle Goldberg likens the University of Arizona to a “country club” and she is right on! Google “Next, Level, and the Hub apartments” and check out the photos and prices if you don’t believe her.
According to Goldberg, the “country club” aesthetic is the University of Arizona’s response and answer to budget cuts – the towers with rooftop pools attract wealthy students who can afford out of state tuition, which makes up for the dollars taken away by the state legislature.
She also points out the invisibility of under privileged students and invisibility of their needs at the University of Arizona. Goldberg argues that their needs are hidden behind expensive eateries and luxurious facilities, but that the need is certainly present.
Though the U of A’s luxurious amenities are available to all students, it is clear that they were designed for a particular class of students – those who can afford a $6 bowl of frozen yogurt and a day at the spa (on a Monday).
It is becoming increasingly obvious that the University of Arizona is, in the words of Goldberg, for students “can afford to treat college as a multiyear party” because of their inherited wealth.
The gentrification of higher education not only limits access to education, underprivileged students are undeniably treated differently, less than, and unworthy by their wealthy peers and the powers that be.