The university babies its students. Requiring sophomores to have meal plans and housing each year, even though they are allowed to have cars on campus, is babying. It emphasizes that the idea is to create a university community where students eat together, live together and study together.
With the implementation of freshman housing, there is greater emphasis on promoting residential community while staying away from class housing. These are simply university catch-phrases.
Sadly, UR will fail in accomplishing its goal unless it revitalizes the life that once was in its student union. UR needs to find a way to bring students out of their dorm rooms in the cold winters and get them to interact. This is possible if there is a place for them to go that is close to their residence halls.
Sadly, Wilson Commons has no life. Most of the activity is in the Common Ground Caf, located next to the dark and cold basement area called the Pit.
Imagine the impact of freshman housing. There will be great programming in the Residential Quad, leaving all the upperclassmen craving to get involved. Just because a student is no longer a freshman does not mean that he or she does not need programming.
Freshman year is for students to find a niche and get accustomed to all the new facets of college life. Sophomore and junior years are when students look to really get involved. We need a central location for programming, especially because of freshman housing, in order to promote class interaction.
Making the Common Ground more like a coffee shop, with couches, paintings and a more inviting dcor, is necessary.
Bringing a pub that has alcohol for the older students, but also has other options for under-aged students, will also attract people. College is a time when students can take care of themselves.
Wilson Commons? usage right now is inefficient. All of the building is well-lit with the exception of the basement. So why are the places that students most need to go located there?
It doesn?t make sense. The upstairs Hirst and Havens Lounges are bright even on cloudy days, but they are seldom used because there is nothing to attract students. Being exposed to the outdoors through windows is healthy for students in our frigid environment.
Just this week, the Students Activities Office took student surveys to measure the effectiveness of the student union. Right now, the truth is that it?s a waste of great space. This is a call to take action instead of further delaying the necessary changes that need to be made in the Wilson Commons.