The three UR facilities for the arts – Strong Memorial Auditorium, the Palestra and Sage Art Center – are largely inadequate for UR’s needs.

President-elect Joel Seligman should give serious thought to constructing a new arts center. UR has a hodgepodge of inflexible facilities, while many peer institutions have arts centers that can cater to a variety of needs.

The ideal facility is a versatile building that is able to accommodate both large and small crowds, without hindering the concert experience.

This building would have equipment permanently set up to substantially minimize the $10,000 currently spent preparing the Palestra for large events.

The space could be further utilized for holding dinner events and art expositions. An impressive arts center would draw the community to UR’s many student-group performances, giving them the attention they deserve.

Although downtown Rochester provides many venues for possible performances, past programming efforts have shown UR students are more apt to attend activities on campus.

Since the River Campus is a residential campus, the best-attended events are those that occur on campus. Therefore, the new arts center should be built on the River Campus.

Other areas of student life have already been vastly improved in recent years, most notably the athletic department. A new arts center will not only enhance the reputations of our arts programs and performance groups, but put us on par with peer institutions.

This idea should be seriously considered as a way to improve the prestige of this university and the quality of student life.

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