This week some students decided to take up a petition against the Master Building Plan the College presented on March 28. Most of these students are involved in intramural and club sports and are upset that the plan overlooks athletic and recreational facilities.
However, there are more problems with the College’s building plan.
The plan (if everything goes smoothly) calls for construction to continue until the year 2021, 14 years from now. I’m skeptical that the College will finish by 2021. Instead, it seems this plan will continue the school’s legacy of perpetual construction (see: Green Hall, Metzger Drive Apartments, etc.).
But even assuming the plan goes perfectly, the state of the campus won’t be much improved in 2021.
The field between Decker and New Residence halls where people flock to on warm days will be gone, replaced with another dorm. The tennis courts will also be moved to accommodate a new dorm. Even fewer upperclassmen will get housing on campus as class size is set to increase while housing for upperclassmen remains exactly the same as today.
This plan is short-sighted. While I understand the need to be frugal, saving money while creating new problems isn’t going to solve the College’s financial issues.
What happens 14 years from now when the already crumbling Bliss Hall is even worse than it is today? What happens 14 years from now when significantly fewer upperclassmen can get housing on campus?
While it’s encouraging to see some students taking up a petition against a plan that seems flawed even at first glance, I’m pessimistic about the possibility for change. If more students don’t get involved, the administration will be able to safely ignore concerns looming 14 years down the road, just the same as Gov. Jon S. Corzine was able to ignore our concerns when he slashed funding last year.
Unless a significant portion of the student and faculty population takes notice and speaks up, this plan will go forward entirely unchanged. Let’s not perpetuate yet again the apathy we’re becoming infamous for.