DePaul is a Private University…not on Loop Campus!

When people think of Universities in Chicago, DePaul University is usually one to come to mind, so there’s no doubt that the university would have a few connections with some Chicago-related events, and representatives.  The mayor has donated tons of money to the school, and the university is one of the first to be included in holiday parades that march down Michigan Ave.  But why is DePaul so “plugged” into the city?

DePaul University is split into two campuses; one beautiful, and one that barely passes as a campus.  On any given day, the Loop campus is filled with not only students, but a number of pedestrians, including many loiters.  How does this constant flow of random pedestrians throughout the Loop campus affect the quality of the university?  Furthermore, how does it affect the experience of the students?  The same building that holds the school’s student center, is the same building that holds Chicago’s Water Department, as well as many eateries open to the public, so the pedestrians will always be there.  It seems there should be a set standard on how open a “Private University” should be to the public. 

Students spend tons of money each quarter paying for classes without knowing exactly where there money is going, or how it will benefit them.  Since entering four years ago, I have seen a few improvements on the Lincoln Park campus with the addition of the new library, and a few other buildings.  But what is the University spending to improve the Loop campus?

I have always imagined that DePaul would do something to privatize some part of the campus to make students feel more comfortable, or at least match the quality of the Loop campus with that of the beautiful Lincoln Park campus.  So what does the university do to help the Loop?  Add new dorms for DePaul students only?  Add a 24-hour library that can only be accessed by students? No, and no; the university invested $70 million dollars to build an arena by McCormick Place, open to the public!  Even more shocking, a former Cook County representative has consistently gotten paid $80,000 annually, by DePaul, for representing the university.  Being only a student, I cannot explain the university’s logic in these decisions, but it does make me feel like the system of the school’s budget could use some improvement.

Outside of the very few basketball games that the Blue Demons will have in this arena, it will be open to Chicago events, including Public Schools and Community Colleges.  This is great for Chicago, but how is this a benefit to the students of the university?

Hopefully this big investment will give the Loop campus a higher-quality feel.  Maybe the university wants to keep an open reputation to the city. 

Do you think this was a good investment?  What can the university invest in to improve the quality of the loop campus?  What are some of the standards a Private University campus should have?

Sources: Chicago Sun Times –

http://www.suntimes.com/20134943-761/navy-pier-revamp-depaul-arena-part-of-emanuel-tourism-and-tradeshow-plan.html

http://www.suntimes.com/20155858-761/depauls-man-at-city-hall-not-involved-in-arena-deal-officials-say.html

4 thoughts on “DePaul is a Private University…not on Loop Campus!

  1. You make a lot of valid point. Although DePaul is a private university, I believe the school wants to be as open as possible to the Chicago community. I don’t think this a bad thing in the least, but it really does take away from the “all-student” atmosphere. As far as the investment goes for the new arena by McCormick Place, I don’t know if that is the best idea. Our basketball team needs an arena on campus that is convenient for students to get to. Our fan-base struggles, and putting another arena 20+ minutes away isn’t the answer.

  2. By DePaul being “Private” it means that we do not get money from the government. Yet, we are getting money from the taxpayers to pay for our arena that others will use. It does not make any sense. I feel that if we are a private university, we should be able to fund the arena ourselves and not have other help. Also, we should be able to only use this arena for DePaul related events. But most importantly, we must ask the question, will this investment pay off in the long run? We will find out soon enough.

  3. This post make my think about the benefits and drawbacks of attending private universities. I always believed that attending private university gives you more benefits but no. The benefits of attending DePaul university is that DePaul is more prestige and respected, offers higher amount of programs and activities, but class sizes are not a benefit to DePaul. Do you consider a class of 40 students a small size class? Of course not, and I’m in the classes where there are 40 or even more students enrolled. The drawback of attending is related to very expensive tuition rate. It is much cheaper to be only a part time students at DePaul.
    I’m not sure yet if it was a good investment. Time will tell. The university should consider investing more money that would help students with their tuition bills. In addition,in Loop campus there should be more areas for quite studying.

  4. I’m not really a fan of this new arena either, but I don’t think it makes sense to keep the public from using the arena, when they are footing most of the bill. It is largely being funded by TIFs, after all… Plus, the arena needs to be used in the off-season in order for it to really be an “investment”. DePaul is mainly paying to name the arena, along with having a new basketball venue, which I stil think is too far to motivate students to attend games. The challenge of having a university in a city like Chicago is space. There isn’t enough of it. In order for the university to get what it wants, it needs to make compromises and share the space with the public, a little bit. I still think that spending $70 million on a basketball arena (especially for the team we’ve got now) shows a serious problem in defining the correct priorities for the school.

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