By Sam Arciprete
Last week, an article that was published on The Odyssey by Holy Cross student Lauren Murray created quite a bit of controversy on campus for remarks linking the rising cost of tuition to wasteful spending in the Athletics Department, specifically mentioning the new Hart Center renovation. While I do not agree with Ms. Murray that student-athletes are to blame for rising tuition costs, she does raise a valid point that we, as Holy Cross students, are paying more and receiving less. Our tuition has steadily increased in the past few years and I do not feel like we have any more benefits than we did before. Parking is a pain because the school won’t dish out the money to create another parking garage, even though they’re over-admitting more students and hiring more employees. The dining halls seem to be getting worse, not better. And there aren’t enough professors to meet the demand for classes, so students are inevitably left scrambling to find classes that fulfill major requirements. In general, as tuition continues to rise, the luxuries afforded to students seems to have dipped.
However, it was wrong of Ms. Murray to blame student athletes for the rising cost of tuition. Our student-athletes work very hard to represent the school all over the country in athletic competition and free hats and quarter zips seem like a minor way to thank them for all of their hard work. The Hart Center was in rough shape and was in need of a serious facelift. There was inadequate locker room space, not enough office space for the entire athletic staff, and the building paled in comparison to comparable athletic complexes for our Patriot League opponents. This new athletic complex is separate from the argument that Ms. Murray is making: that our rising cost of tuition seems to be disappearing.
This article created a lot of controversy and generated some very negative responses from athletes and non-athletes alike. I don’t believe that Ms. Murray deserved some of the mean-spirited comments that she received on social media, but in general, I’m never against anyone on this campus sparking a discussion about something. Too often I feel Holy Cross students are afraid to speak out about things they feel are wrong about this campus, or ideas they have to make life on campus better, because they don’t want to create controversy. I believe more people at this school should feel safe enough to speak their minds about injustices they see around them. We, as Holy Cross students, have a responsibility to continue to break the status quo if that status quo is not what is best for all students. Ms. Murray’s article was a success because it got people to talk about an issue that she felt was important and wanted to share with campus. Reflection is at the heart of a Jesuit education and we must continue to reflect on our experiences here on campus. I encourage more of you to take similar stands about issues that you see on campus, just like Ms. Murray did. Right or wrong, at least it will spark a debate.