You may have thought it was the drinking, oversleeping, or laziness that\’s keeping your kid from getting good grades at the University of Wisconsin.Â But, as the Wisconsin State Journal reports today, it\’s something much more insidious – it\’s the lack of walk-in closets in the dorms.
From today\’s article:
The newest multimillion-dollar residence halls on Madison campuses feature semi-private bathrooms, walk-in closets, wireless Internet connections and even spots for professors to hold office hours.
Such perks aren \’t luxuries these days, university officials say. They \’re essential for recruiting the best students and helping students to succeed.
Right.Â Without these new Taj Mahal dorms, good students would just stop coming to the UW.Â It continues:
Universities say they \’re putting up these multimillion-dollar buildings in part because they help students perform better.
No wonder my grades were so average in college – I had to share a bathroom with 20 other guys for a whole year!Â Obviously, a more private and serene bathroom experience leads to more relaxed students, who can then retain information more effectively.
In fact,Â itÂ is well knownÂ that Einstein was merely a so-so student.Â What is less well known is that he was a lousy student because he had to share a bathroom.Â Once he moved and first sat down on his own semi-private toilet, the theory of relativity just popped into his mind.
\”Students have expectations now about where they \’re going to live, and they \’re a lot higher expectations than they were 20 years ago, \” said Paul Evans, UW-Madison \’s director of housing. \”Many of these students have private bedrooms at home, maybe even their own bathroom, so they \’re making those kinds of comparisons.\”
Ooooh – many of these kids have PRIVATE BEDROOMS at home!Â They can\’t possibly be expected to live with another smelly person in the room!Â That might actually add to the college experience, where they learn to get along with people and actually leave their room every now and then.Â Someone should call all the Chinese college students packed 10 to a room and tell them how they\’re underachieving as a result.Â But do it before China actually owns the United States.
Finally, what does building all these fancy new dorms do to the UW\’s line that the state is pricing kids out of a college education?Â With theÂ differentialÂ housingÂ costsÂ for these posh new places, the system is only going to fuelÂ incomeÂ based segregation issues.Â As John Edwards (not the psychic) likes to say, we\’ll have \”Two UWs.\”Â And, knowing a little about how college students actually live, there\’s a good chance these fancy new places will be in bad shape in a few years.
Of course, the UW probably has a good case to renovate many of these dorms, or build new ones altogether.Â Some of them are falling apart, and most of them are stillÂ coated with bong residue from the Vietnam Era.Â But spare us the rhetoric about how it makes any actual difference in how students learn.Â We\’re actually smart people – despite not having walk-in closets in our dorms.