FINAL RWS DC - Dareen Canta RWS 200 J Hall 6 October 2011...

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Dareen Canta RWS 200 J. Hall 6 October 2011 Argument “On the uses of a Liberal Education” by Mark Edmundson (pg. 43) Granted, you might say, the kids come to school immersed in a consumer mentality -- they're good Americans, after all -- but then the university and the professors do everything in their power to fight that dreary mind-set in the interest of higher ideals, right? So it should be. But let us look at what is actually coming to pass. Over the past few years, the physical layout of my university has been changing. To put it a little indecorously, the place is looking more and more like a retirement spread for the young. Our funds go to construction, into new dorms, into renovating the student union. We have a new aquatics center and ever-improving gyms, stocked with StairMasters and Nautilus machines. Engraved on the wall in the gleaming aquatics building is a line by our founder, Thomas Jefferson, declaring that everyone ought to get about two hours' exercise a day. Clearly even the author of the Declaration of Independence endorses the turning of his university into a sports- and-fitness emporium. But such improvements shouldn't be surprising. Universities need to attract the best (that is, the smartest and the richest) students in order to survive in an ever more competitive market. Schools want kids whose parents can pay the full freight, not the ones who need scholarships or want to bargain down the tuition costs. If the marketing surveys say that the kids require sports centers, then, trustees willing, they shall have them. In fact, as I began looking around, I came to see that more and more of what's going on in the university is customer driven. The consumer pressures that beset me on evaluation day are only a part of an overall trend.
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FINAL RWS DC - Dareen Canta RWS 200 J Hall 6 October 2011...

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