From Robert Whitcomb’s “Digital Diary,’’ in GoLocal24.com
In New England and elsewhere an increasing number of colleges and universities are collaborating with private developers to build fancy apartment buildings (or call them “dorms’’) with heftier rents than students would pay to live in the usual barebones (often cinderblock) dorms.
In one way you could see this as a good thing because companies, not the colleges, pay to build the somewhat luxurious “dorms,’’ saving the institutions a lot of money (especially those in expansionary mode), which they can spend on other things, such as financial aid.
But a negative is that this housing separation between students from rich families and everyone else helps further widen class divisions in a time of yawning income inequality, which you can see all around you. Love those “gated communities’’! It does this in part by depriving middle- and lower-income students of much of the opportunity to mix with privileged students and gain access to their social and business connections. Residential segregation at colleges further consolidates the power of the permanent, hereditary upper class and reduces the sense of collective citizenship.