This campus is beautiful. I mean that – even with all of the ongoing construction. There are sections, like the Staller Steps, or the fountain near the Administration building that just bring a sense of relaxation to anyone around to enjoy them.
However, that beauty is quickly coming to an end. Soon, one of the more peaceful and open sections of campus will be replaced by a four-to-five story dormitory and cafeteria that will make one of the few remaining open areas on campus cramped.
Expected to be completed by 2014, the new complex will include two new dormitories and a new cafeteria. Also included in the plans are the closure of the Student Union following the completion of this project.
Most college campuses, especially in the Northeast, show their heritage through the aged buildings on campus. The old brick and mortar buildings stand as a testament to all that the university has accomplished. Some of these buildings date back to the 1700s in the case of the Ivy League. Shouldn’t the older structures be the ones that are most worth preserving?
We’re a young university when compared to others in our area, we’ve just passed the half-century mark. How would it feel to one day bring your children back to this campus, say 20 years from now, and not be able to recognize most of the buildings? It would feel probably as if you had lost a part of your personal history.
Not only will the building of these new dormitories further decrease the open space on campus, but they would also become an eyesore on the skyline. Sitting outside on the patio of the Wang Center, it’s nice to look out and see blue sky and trees. Imagine looking at that same skyline a few years from now, and seeing dormitories instead of that once wide open sky.
It’s sort of ironic in a way. By adding new buildings, we’re actually beginning to destroy the heritage of our own university.
This isn’t to say that modernizing the campus’ structures is inherently bad. It’s important. Even the oldest universities have constructed new buildings in recent years. They’re easier to maintain and some people enjoy walking into a modern building the first time they visit a campus.
There just simply is no need to attempt to condense the entire campus into one very small section of an enormous plot of land. If we really wish to expand our campus, why not venture into areas that aren’t being used? Sure, that would involve removing portions of the larger wooded areas on campus, but it’d be better to have some breathing room.
Stony Brook has accomplished a lot in its short life, and we will continue to do great things in decades to come. Let’s just be sure that the Stony Brook we know now, will be the same decades from now.