As students, we all see the amount of money that comes into the school, but the question that arises is: Where does all the money go? As per  the data available, Brandeis brings in a substantial amount of money through donations and tuition. In 2019, the money brought in from tuition alone was $285 million. While we know that at least $1.14 million goes directly to University President Ron Liebowitz, what is being done with the leftover $284 million? As students, we feel it is necessary to understand where this money goes and how much of it actually goes towards improving the lives of the students who are paying to attend this institution.

It is essential that the administration  prioritizes allocating funds towards the     betterment of students’ lives. One area that requires immediate attention is student housing. While first-year students are required to live on campus and all students are guaranteed housing for their first four consecutive semesters, it is reasonable to expect that their dorms should be the most well-kept, as they are guaranteed full occupancy. However, as we have all seen, this is not always the case. The housing situation at Brandeis is notoriously subpar, with students being forced to live in cramped, uncomfortable, and sometimes unsafe living arrangements in all residence halls, including first-year and sophomore housing. This is unacceptable and unfair to the students who are paying a significant amount of money to attend this institution and expecting decent, reasonable housing in return.

Furthermore, with Brandeis continuing to admit bigger classes each year, there is a concern about where all these students will live. The last thing any student wants is to be forced into a crowded, uncomfortable, or less than ideal living arrangement. As an institution that prides itself on creating an inclusive and supportive community, it is crucial that the University takes a proactive approach towards improving student housing and allocating funds towards building more dormitories. 

Since the most recent admitted classes are the largest ever at Brandeis, the school should be making significantly more from tuition, so why is it that several major groups on campus seem to have budget issues as of recently? Clubs and organizations are getting approved for less money than in previous years; seemingly no funding is going towards clearly needed resources on campus, such as more mental and physical health services; and student living spaces are physically falling apart. Meanwhile, the administration will be  building a brand new engineering building  on campus. 

There is also a larger funding issue with the administration prioritizing specific academic and administrative buildings over dorms. Some of the least accessible buildings on campus are dorms, yet the administration seems more interested in constructing a new engineering building than improving the living conditions for its students. 

Expanding Brandeis’ STEM offerings is no more important than the well-being and quality of life of the students who attend this institution. It is unacceptable for students to live in subpar conditions while the administration spends millions of dollars on new academic buildings. The focus on building new STEM buildings may be a way for Brandeis to improve its academic standing, but it should not come at the expense of the students who are paying to attend this institution. 

It is imperative for the Brandeis administration to be transparent about where the tuition and donation money goes. We demand that Brandeis publicly releases a spending breakdown for the current and future school years. Students deserve to know that their money is being used to improve their college experience. It is essential to prioritize student housing as it is an integral part of student life on campus. 

The administration must take immediate steps to address the current housing situation and ensure that students are not forced into uncomfortable and unfair living arrangements that have negative effects on both mental and physical health, of which we don’t even have sufficient resources to deal with the repercussions. As members of the Brandeis community, we must hold our administration accountable and demand that our tuition money be used effectively to better our lives on campus.

—Editor’s note: Editor Cameron Cushing ’23 is employed by the Department of Community Living as a community advisor. He did not contribute to or edit the parts of this article pertaining to DCL.