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Was the administrative decision to build a new Student Center in the best interest of the students?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/28/2011 Category: Education
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,271 times Debate No: 16188
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (1)




On a campus of over 33,000 students, there are many differing opinions on what resources are most important for student success. One of the things the majority of the student body can agree upon is that it did not want a tuition increase to fund the building of a new student center. I would like to discuss whether the administration made the right decision to go against the students' vote and proceed to approve the Talley renovation project.

My stance is that the administration's choice to rebuild Talley despite the students' vote against it was wrong. The blatant disregard of a campus-wide vote and improper allocation of funds, current state of Talley Student Center, and availability of other on-campus facilities show that this decision was not in the best interest of the students of North Carolina State University.


I am glad you feel so strongly on this issue, but unfortunately many students don't. Most students at NC State, like at most colleges, hardly take the time to know or care what is going on around them. The administration worked with student government, who strongly supported them, but they just couldn't get the students excited about the "new Talley". They had a website and blog, and even served ice cream on the brickyard to get people excited about the possibilities that a new Tally would bring to the college! Unfortunately, a lack of interest from the students, is what resulted in the vote against the construction. The administration has to stand up for the silent majority, and do what is good for the students, not just what a small group of outspoken and misinformed individuals cry about. The administration has made a good choice, in supporting Talley, and most students would probably agree if they took the time to understand what a new Talley will really mean.
Debate Round No. 1


It was not a simple 'lack of interest from the students' as my opponent suggests, but informed decisions made by a representative sector of the student body. From a pool of 30439 voters, 5752 ballots were cast (18.9% of the student body). 56.6% voted "Yes I do see a need for increased funding in these areas" on the subject of renovating and expanding Talley Student Center. However, 61.6% of voters were against incurring a new student fee to cover the cost of the construction. While the students saw a need to find funding for Talley, the fact of the matter is that the majority did not want a tuition increase to pay for it. The only area where the majority of students voted FOR a tuition increase was in educational technology. Students deemed this area more important than campus renovations, so technology, not construction, should receive priority.

The number of students who voted in the Talley poll was consistent with the numbers for spring student government elections, usually about 20% of the student body. If the administration has the right to 'stand up for the silent majority', what is stopping them from dictating who heads our student government as well? The administration is in no position to speak for the remainder of the student body who did not participate in the poll. Each NCSU student, full or part time, was given the opportunity to contribute his or her opinion on the Talley project so at most, we can say that those who did not vote were simply indifferent.

As my opponent previously stated, 'Rally 4 Talley' propaganda was everywhere, from flyers to free stuff to a facebook page; in fact, there was much more publicity FOR the renovation of Talley than against it. The students were not seduced by these acts and held firm in their desire to not incur any more fees in a year when tuition was already going up. To help offset state budget cuts of almost $20 million, NCSU increased tuition by $900 for in-state students and $950 for out-of-state students for the 2010-2011 academic year.


What you don't seem to understand is that we can't just sit around and wait for the students to say they want increased funds. If the administration did that, they would never be able to keep up. Aren't you today enjoying the rewards of previous students' contributions? The new extension to Carmichael gym, for example, or the iPads and digital cameras at the library.

As for the voting numbers, 20% of a student body? That's pathetic. The students obviously didn't care about this issue any more than any other. Most of that so-called "propaganda" you mentioned was really a grassroots effort from other students to get their peers to see the light. The student body representative, Marycobb Randall was the single largest contributor to the blog at

Right now, building materials are at an all time low, and so it is actually cheapest to build a new student center now. We're talking big here too! The new tally will be twice the size of the current student center, and unlike the one we have now, it will actually have the student bookstore in it. This is a small price to pay for the benefits that future students will reap.
Debate Round No. 2


While the Carmichael extension is a valid point, the money with which the university purchases iPads, digital cameras, and other educational technology is specially allocated from fundraising organizations like Friends of the Library. The students do not pay for these resources out of pocket like they do the Talley renovations. I am not saying that NC State should wait around for generous individuals like Lonnie Poole to make huge monetary donations to the university; I am only stating that the distribution of funds collected from students is inappropriate. The administration needs to prioritize projects according to what will be most beneficial to the students.

The ~20% that voted in the Talley poll is quite representative of voter turnout in all major campus-wide elections. This is regrettably only a small portion of the student body but that does not mean the data collected is invalid or insignificant.

Rather than a student grassroots effort with a little university backing, Rally 4 Talley was actually a university-sponsored campaign that gained the support of prominent student leaders. All the funding for Rally 4 Talley was provided by the university. None of the student supporters paid out of pocket for flyers, signs, or the ice cream given out in the brickyard.

While student government leaders are elected by the student body, they do not always reflect the views of the student body. Ms. Randall may have been a contributor to the Rally 4 Talley Website, but that bears no more significance than, for example, sophomore Eric Oesterling starting an anti-Talley group on facebook. Both students are simply advocating their points of view.

Building materials are not necessarily at an all time low. The price of gasoline is currently high and because building materials must be transported from their origin to the construction site, the fuel for transportation must be factored in to the overall cost.

The student bookstore is already in very close proximity to Talley Student Center. With all due respect it is not that hard to walk a few short yards; this is an unnecessary change that will not make much of a difference. The new building will only be twice the size because it will absorb the bookstore which is about the same size as our current Talley. This means that technically, the new Talley will be about the same size as the old Talley.

Construction on the Atrium is well underway and the food-selection area has been unveiled. Granted, it is beautiful, but not well designed. There is not much room to maneuver between the aisles; therefore during busy times between classes, the Atrium becomes extremely congested with traffic. If the new Talley looks good on paper but has major design flaws like the Atrium, it will be a further waste of student money.

Currently Talley is not being used for much. It houses our campus Taco Bell and other small eateries, administrative services, and the Wolves' Den which few people frequent. Talley is not open 24/7 as a student center should be; rather than building an entire new student center, a more cost-effective solution would be extending its hours of operation or holding more events to attract students.


Well, you're right, Talley is being underused. Don't you think the students deserve what they are not currently being provided? Students need a place to meet, and hang out. They need somewhere that is open 24 hours to pull all-nighters when they have to.They need places to study, and places to eat. Talley hardly serves its function, and it is a function severely needed by the students of NC State.

The Wolves Den has some game consoles for entertainment, and a couple of Pool tables, but right now these kinds of resources are unavailable to students around the clock, and there is no reason they should not be. If not at Talley, where do you propose that resources like those should be? It's not like you can have people playing video games at a Library!

Can't you see how much better life on campus will be when there is a new student center? Just imagine, you'll be able to tell your children that when you went to school, you didn't have these resources, but you helped pay for them so they could have them. You'll be able to visit NC State in the future, and be proud of what you helped to build. You'll walk across the bridge from Harrelson to Talley, and remember how the only way across used to be the free expression tunnel. You'll visit plays and performances at a brand new Stewart Theater, unlike anything NCSU has right now.

A new Talley is something that NCSU truly needs, and that is something that the Administration knows. That is whey they made the decision they did. I support that decision, because I know that the time is right, and the future is bright for student life at NC State.
Debate Round No. 3


NC State's campus is huge so places like what my opponent has described already exist. For example, there are pool tables in the Bragaw activity room and at University Towers, residence halls all have their own study lounges, and Hillsborough Street restaurants are often open until the wee hours of the morning. DH Hill Library is also an excellent resource. It is open 24 hours most days of the week and serves as a meeting place for students and staff alike. And yes, you can play video games in the library. The learning commons has game consoles hooked up to three large TVs and students can check out video games at the circulation desk. The new Talley cannot provide anything that is not already available elsewhere on campus.

The Free Expression Tunnel is not the only link between North and Central Campus. In addition, there are two more tunnels and two roads, Dan Allen Drive and Pullen Road, that run through campus. According to the floor plan diagrams on the NCSU website, the 'bridge to Talley' will be anchored to Broughton Hall which is already straddled by the Free Expression Tunnel and another pedestrial tunnel. The new bridge will be costly and unnecessary.

The money could be better spent in so many other ways. Due to recent state budget cuts, classes and advising programs are being eliminated from the curriculum altogether. We are first and foremost students at NCSU and ensuring the availability of classes is more important than constructing a building for entertainment purposes.


You sound like a student who has no pride in their school. Do you realize how poorly NC State compares to other universities in the area? Have you seen UNC's bookstore and student center?

NC State must remain competitive with other universities. Are you proud of Talley? Is this the kind of place where you would bring visiting relatives to impress them? These are the kinds of things that the Administration has to keep in mind. There will be no big donations like those of Lonnie Poole without NCSU having a student center they can be proud of. DH Hill is barely an adequate library, it can't even hold 5% of the student body, the standard for North Carolina public higher education institutions. You also aren't going to convince me that a few game consoles thrown in make DH Hill a place to hang out. If those consoles you mentioned are in an accessible area, I'm sure they keep the crowd down. Either way, they are a waste of money. Would you go work near a big TV to write a paper, or refute an argument like this one at

Not only isn't a library a replacement for a student center, but do you really think it can keep up with the growing student population? As the space they have fills in with books, there will only be less room. No jumble of places can replace what a new Talley will be. I am sure that the administration is listening to the students, and will make sure that the new Talley will provide what they need. They will react to students needs, with Talley, in a way that residence halls and libraries simply can't.

Besides, would you have us raise tuition instead of student fees? Tuition got enough of a hike to keep the teachers happy that year, and for several more I suspect!

You act like you know better than the administration, just because you're a student. Sometimes, you need to learn how to respect those with more experience. I am sure when your chancellor made the decision to support the new Talley, he didn't make it without having observed student life at NC State for several years. You should be less concerned about yourself, and more concerned about how others see the school you'll be graduating from!
Debate Round No. 4


True, there are other schools in the vicinity whose facilities are spectacular but they receive much more private funding. NC State has never been an institution with a particularly attractive layout or stunning architecture but those are not the defining traits of a good school. NC State ranks with UNC and Duke among the top value schools in the nation according to the Princeton Review. We are obviously still competitive if we can go head to head with two of the top schools in the nation.

It is in the best interest of the students to attend a school where they can acquire a quality education. Beautifying the campus would be nice, but is an irresponsible use of money when the budget is already so tight. As I previously stated, more should be done about the courses and entire curricula that are being trimmed from the university's academic program. Tuition does not necessarily need to be raised to do this, we simply need to cut back on other projects such as the Talley renovation and redistribute the funds.

Due to the vast size of NCSU, a new library is under construction on Centennial Campus and should be complete in Fall 2012. Hunt Library is going to double the NCSU Libraries' available study seats to bring student accommodation up to 10%. Regardless, if providing adequate study and research facilities for a growing student population is the issue, building a new student center (which would serve primarily as a social hubbub) would do nothing to help alleviate the need.

The purpose of the university is to educate and serve the students who attend it. The administration does not pay to be here, we do. Why should they have the final say (without our approval) in what our money is spent on? The main beneficiary of the Talley renovation is the administration. By creating a more attractive campus, it can hope to lure in more prospective students. The needs of the student body should be met before the aspirations of the administration.

My opponent asks, "Do you realize how poorly NC State compares to other universities in the area? Have you seen UNC's bookstore and student center?" The Talley we have is perfectly adequate. So we should build a new one just to look good in comparison to our rivals? How does that keep the student's best interests in mind? Many of the points made by my opponent are irrelevant to the topic or lack proper support. For the record, I would rather others judge the school I am graduating from based on its academic merit than its aesthetic value.


You might want others to judge your school on academic merit rather than aesthetic value, but that's just not the way it is. You're an idealist, but that does't make what you want to hear true. Schools that make a better impression are just more likely to receive funds, students, and most importantly, benefactors.

To judge a decision like this on your year, your class, and your experience, is just selfish. You would see what a great thing an iconic student center can be if you could look outside of that narrow point of view. I ask you to reevaluate your opinion, and think about what's best for your school.

Have some school spirit, and support the new Talley!
Debate Round No. 5
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Impossible to judge without sources (all statements were unwarranted).