California Dreaming

When coming to Monmouth it is the common expectation that learning is going to take place. No surprise there. Yet hawks of all years and majors are often surprised to learn that the University owns one house in CA.

As the often unheard story goes the CA house was left to the University in an alumna’s will after they had passed, and that’s pretty much it. Since the University obtained the house some years back they have been sitting on it, not really knowing how to make use of it.

Well, The Outlook editorial staff has a few ideas and recommendations as to what the University could do with the West Coast property. While there were several ideas tossed around, one suggestion that the majority agreed upon was that the property could serve as a good place for students to travel to during the semester, like the semester at Washington D.C. program offered to students.

As one of the editors pointed out, a great advantage that this option brings is that it could be a very good resume addition for students. Even better, the experience could make the students more marketable when they go in search for a job. Another editor hypothesized that the successful effects seen in the Washington program could suggest similar achievements in CA. “Using the Washington center as an example of how important it is to have students get housing and internships out of state, there is a high success rate of students getting a job out of the program,” the editor said.

While the University does not actually own any property in Washington for the students involved in the program to stay at, instead the University rents property, the house in CA would be a good option for programs like the one in Washington because the school would not have to worry about renting a place for the students to stay at.

A second option that the majority of the staff agreed upon was using the CA house as a place for students to stay at if they got internships in CA. As some of the staff said, it would be a great way to encourage students to go out of their comfort zone and make connections, expand the University’s visibility across the country and show that they are actively using all of their resources for their students.

Yet at the same time the possibility of having the CA house as an internship location leaves some asking more questions before they get really excited about the prospect of using the house as a place to stay for internships across the country. Questions such as what type of house is it, how many students could live there and where in CA is the house located? One editor raised another question, and if it was used for internship opportunities would the students have to pay an increased tuition.

Though, there was also the prospect brought up by another editor that there would be a good chance that having the property might raise tuition for all University students. “Think about it, after buying property, they would have to pay staff, not just utilities. They would need a building manager, a cleaning staff at least between each tenant and then we all know how [the University] values landscaping. Plus, there is no guarantee that ‘X’ number of kids would even get an internship in that city every year, so they can’t assume that they can pay their staff based on students paying to live there,” said the editor.

Overall though, The Outlook staff has found that having the University just hold this CA property is not doing any good. Whether sold or rented out, a plan of action should be made with the house in a way that will better the University and its students. Mostly it can be said that this West Coast property brings many exciting prospects that students should be allowed to take advantage of in order to remember one of the great opportunities that the University provided, and to better themselves.