For the past few years, George Mason University has been alive with construction and the renovation of residence halls, dining halls, workout facilities, parking structures and student union buildings.

In Skyline, you can watch any one of six flat screen televisions while riding a stationary bike and then head over to the Aquatic and Fitness Center to relax in a 14-person hot tub.

These unnecessary luxuries add up quickly and we, the students, are paying for them.

The north end of campus offers a brand new, 600-bed student housing facility and a dining hall, a project that cost $56 million. While many of us will have graduated before its completion, Fenwick Library’s 50,000 square foot addition and Science and Tech II’s 150,000 square foot addition and renovation are projected to cost a total of $109 million.

Mason’s own construction website boasts a hefty list of recently completed, current, or design-phase projects that already have and will cost students hundreds of millions of dollars. This is apart from proposals like the $116 million for infrastructure and parking improvements.

The recent 4.46 percent room and board rate hike, and the proposed 10.2 percent increase for in-state and 6 percent increase for out-of-state tuition should come as no surprise.

They do, however, showcase one thing: the Board of Visitors and administration have absolutely zero respect for current tuition-paying students.

They are intentionally throwing millions of dollars of debt on the backs of current and future students when they, the administration, should be looking to effectively cut waste and streamline the university’s bureaucracy.

Because of the construction all over campus, I suspect the university is trying to increase the student body. The enormous class sizes, often exceeding 100 students, do not benefit anyone. Instead of trying to throw in thousands of more students to be the biggest, they should work with what they have and be the best.

Instead of parading around with their Mason credit card and proposing tuition hikes, the BOV and administration should look at their actions from the perspective of the students who are currently paying for their costly legacy.

The two non-voting BOV-appointed students should not only be given at least one vote each, but more students should hold leadership positions among the board’s ranks. Who better knows what is best for the university – a group of 16 adults, or a group of students who live, study, work, and play on campus?

If the BOV actually walked around campus with the average student, they would have no trouble wracking up examples of waste and inefficiency.

Upon transferring to Mason last year, I spent three hours trying to get one stamp on a financial aid form. After being redirected from one office to two others, I was given the choice of placing my form in inter-office mail to be jostled around until an ambitious employee decided to read it, or go back to where I started.

Clearly, inefficiencies in the current system do exist.

The main objective of the BOV and administration should be to give students a world-class education for the cheapest possible cost.

I highlight education because too much money is spent on unnecessary, non-academic luxury items like the new high definition LED four-screen scoreboard soon to be installed in the Patriot Center.

If this common sense solution is too complicated or time consuming, I politely ask the BOV to suspend their actions until a more competent and fiscally sane yet academically friendly board can be appointed by Governor McDonnell.