GLENN: Water parks are a growing trend on public university campuses. Especially lazy rivers on campus. Just let the irony of a lazy river on a college campus sink in for a moment. This is what higher education has come to.
From a student perspective, this is awesome. Who wouldn’t want a lazy river at their school? Of course, it’s going to be a selling point for the male high school senior trying to decide where to spend all his parents’ money. Colleges don’t have to put anything else in the brochure but pictures of the water park.
For adults who actually care about the future of our great nation, the question is why? Who was the genius that said, “You know what would really motivate our students, set them apart from students around the world, really inspire them to aim high and become productive citizens? A lazy river on campus!”
Now we’re even removing our students’ need for creative problem-solving when it comes to recreation and procrastination. “Don’t waste brain cells on that kids – here’s a water park!”
Many of these water park colleges are public universities originally built on the premise that educated citizens are vital to a democratic society. But now college administrations and trustees are way more concerned with building their university brand than maintaining any kind of public trust. So, they’re turning colleges into all-inclusive resorts.
Auburn University’s water park has a giant paw-print-shaped hot tub that can accommodate 45 students. The lazy river at Louisiana State University spells out “LSU.” Texas Tech’s water park has Wi-Fi, because, I mean, you gotta stay connected. The indoor water park at the University of Missouri features a grotto modeled after the one at the Playboy Mansion.
Booker T. Washington is rolling over in his grave.
Most of these projects are paid for by raising student activity fees, on top of regular tuition. Tuition and fees at public four-year colleges have grown over 60% in the past ten years. Which begs the question of Bernie Sanders and Democrats – how on earth are you supposed to make college free when you have to pay for lazy rivers?