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BEAUTY COMES FROM WITHIN:

by campustalkeditor

Brockport works on image, not communal problems

Tue, Apr 4th 2017 09:00 pm
Elizabeth Pritchard/EDITORIAL CARTOONIST

The College at Brockport is preparing to begin another construction project. A new dormitory will soon be constructed on the rugby field as the North Campus Revitalization Project begins to wrap up. Although the college will look beautiful, campus authorities are still ignoring campus climate.
Elizabeth Pritchard/EDITORIAL CARTOONIST The College at Brockport is preparing to begin another construction project. A new dormitory will soon be constructed on the rugby field as the North Campus Revitalization Project begins to wrap up. Although the college will look beautiful, campus authorities are still ignoring campus climate.

 It was recently announced by The College at Brockport that construction on a new residence hall will begin this May. 

The announcement comes amidst the ongoing campus revitalization project. These two projects have generated a positive response from students as the administration continues to make the campus look better and improve the quality of living. Navigating the construction at the start of the school year was a bit of a headache, the only negative. Thankfully, the project is now ahead of schedule and much of the congestion has cleared up. 

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the unnamed residence hall, with students hoping for a chance to live in the new state-of-the-art building. Despite the positive effects of these new additions to the campus, some feel that these are only surface level changes. Having quality living quarters and walkable sidewalks is extremely important, but improving the quality of the campus culture is as well. 

Many feel that these construction projects are just attempts to attract future students and that time and energy is needed elsewhere. Students have claimed that  the Brockport Student Government has become out of touch with the student population. The lack of participation in this year's BSG election is evidence that there is a disconnect between the student government and the student body. We touched on this topic in the last editorial yet it is still relevant because new buildings will not suddenly spark interest in student participation in campus life.    

The new residence hall looks exciting, but what about the state of the dorms we already have? At the beginning and end of every school year, students are united by their desire for air conditioning. Installing air conditioning in the existing residence halls would be a win-win situation for both the students and for the college. It would increase student comfort and it would likely be a strong deciding factor for potential applicants. Academic buildings like Holmes Hall could also use a central heating and cooling system. The announcement of the new residence hall comes right after the revelation that Mortimer Hall contains asbestos and there has been no announcement concerning its fate. Will it be renovated? Will it be destroyed? How long will people have to live with this unsafe material in their building? Nobody knows as of yet.     

Another thing that could be improved is the campus internet. Those who live in the dorms will testify that the Wi-Fi is often unusable. In this day and age, the internet is a necessity especially for college students who need to research, do homework, write emails and submit assignments to Blackboard. Thankfully, the library is open seven days a week, but it closes at 1:30 a.m. or earlier, which can be inconvenient for students who prefer to work well into the early morning hours. Even when the library is open, the Wi-Fi is difficult to connect to, making attempts to work there futile. Printing kiosks have also been installed in the residence halls, which is a great convenience, but students cannot use these printers if the internet isn't working. 

A college is more than just buildings and revitalization projects. It is a community of students with a shared desire for knowledge and learning. Maintaining this community is what is most important. 

Unfortunately, there have been a few instances this year that have tested our community. We all remember the graffiti incident that happened in Gordon Hall. Things like this shatter our community and make the college an unwelcoming place. We need to renovate the college from the inside out before we change the exterior. Brockport is only as good as its people. Recent reports of on-campus and even off-campus violence show that we need to change how we treat each other.   

Here are a few things we can do to make Brockport a better place. 

Get involved. Life as a student is fast-paced and packed full of a seemingly endless to-do lists, but if everyone keeps to themselves, then there is no community, just an office building people live in. Joining clubs can be a great way to relax, make friends, learn new skills and enrich the student experience. College should be a place to learn and grow socially as well as academically. 

Another thing people can do to improve Brockport is to improve themselves. Every movement starts with an individual. People can be caught up in their work and responsibilities that they forget to take care of themselves. The way you treat yourself often sets the precedent for how you treat others, so everyone should learn to take things slow, set some goals and make kindness a priority. 

These construction projects have been referred to as "revitalization projects" but perhaps the exterior is not the only thing that needs revitalization. 

We should revitalize one another, socially and intellectually to make living in Brockport and among these new projects worth it. After all, its people that make up this community, not billion dollar projects and a detached student government. It's the people and once you lose us you begin to lose the college. Maybe we here at The Stylus are being a bit dramatic but we're not wrong when we say that shifting campus climate goes beyond constructing shiny new buildings. It's a fair start to catching the student body's attention but to keep us engaged and excited about being a part of Brockport, the college is going to have to dig a little deeper.