Improving the Look of the Campus is Essential to Increasing the Quality of Campus Life
By: Brenton Mitchell
As a commuter school, CSI is plagued with a low population of students who remain on campus outside of class time.
The ideal would be an environment that evokes a feeling of community, one that has multiple places for students to interact organically. These are goals that would drastically change the student experience for the better, especially in regards to boosting campus pride.
But there are various reasons why these ideals aren’t a reality, ranging from lack of funding to lack of interest.
Though perhaps the real reason is both extremely glaring and deceptively subtle: our campus is ugly.
As many know, the original use of the CSI campus was the Willowbrook State School, created for children with intellectual disabilities.
Observant students may notice that our glorious campus was built with an appearance that more resembles a prison complex than it does a learning institution. Mostly because a prison is a solid description of the original functions of the buildings we study in.
The original facility was completed 75 years ago in 1942, and today in 2017 there has been minimal progress into making the campus a more appealing place.
It takes more than haphazardly spread “art” and giant wooden gnomes to create a space that entices commuters to stay on campus longer than it takes to reach the parking lot.
It requires an overhaul of the visual palette that the school presents. The simplest and most effective way being the addition of alternative colors to the limited palette the school currently uses.
Even the “Great Lawn” is only noteworthy for being the most likely place to ruin new shoes via geese droppings, or to experience a taste of what actual hell feels like while walking between buildings.
For years the loop road that we all rely on has been plagued with horrible bumps and murderous potholes. Each chassis-destroying dip breaking the concentration of those contemplating why they haven’t transferred schools yet.
Yet, even the solution to this problem comes with it’s own downside: massive piles of black piping and equipment waiting to be placed into the ground. Disrupting not only the flow of traffic around the campus but creating massive eyesores that exist in some of the most visible areas.
In fact, the stack of piping near building 2A is literally the first thing that new students see when they come to campus, functioning as an excellent way to spur their curiosity into where exactly their tuition money goes.
Of course, there is stake to be held in the long-term, hoping that when the construction is finally completed the campus will overall be better for everyone.
But with no estimated time of completion, students are only left with around 300 less parking spaces than before and stacks of giant black cylinders to keep them company.
A campus that has a community is a campus that will thrive. It is a campus that will inspire others to inquire into all the things that our school has to offer, giving them a reason to think about more than mandatory hours of class time.
Whether it be a club, publication, sport or job, there is a wealth of things to enjoy over the course of the college experience at CSI.
But looks matter, and in order to achieve these goals there needs to be an adamant push to elevate the looks of our campus to entice students to look past the rough outside and see the potential that lays within.
Hopefully through this we may grow to have a campus that rivals any other in campus pride and achievement.
Of course this is a lofty goal, but it is also a necessary one. And if we won’t do it for ourselves, then at the very least we can do it for the geese.