If only there was a way to move North Campus farther south. That seemed to be the consensus of students who attended “The North Campus Rant: The Good, The Bad and The Dude!” last week at Pierpont Commons. About 15 students attended the event, and they voiced their concerns about everything from accessibility of transportation to social life on North Campus. Some even called it a “satellite campus.”
The consensus is clear — North Campus needs to be more linked to the rest of the University. Many freshmen are assigned to live in North Campus residence halls, and they often struggle to feel connected with the rest of campus. While the buses run fairly frequently, students’ reliance on them makes academic and social life difficult. Among the proposals discussed at the meeting was changes to transportation to and from North Campus. New transportation options, like a trolley system or even a Disney World-esque tram, should be considered to alleviate transportation woes.
But accessibility involves more than just transportation. Currently, using computers, printers or even getting into certain buildings on North Campus is difficult for students who aren’t in the College of Engineering, School of Art & Design, College of Architecture and Urban Planning or School of Music, Theater & Dance. Lack of access to resources is a significant reason for students’ dissatisfaction with North Campus. The University needs to expand accessibility to resources on North Campus to all students, which will provide an incentive for students to use these facilities for schoolwork.
Students are also bothered by the lack of social activities on North Campus. Most University-sponsored social events, such as UMix and arts nights, take place on Central Campus. While North Campus does hold drive-in movies at the North Campus Recreation Building, there need to be more social activities on North Campus so students who live there don’t have to travel to Central Campus each time they want to attend a social event. Movie nights, art exhibits and University-sponsored events like UMix are great ways to make North Campus more inviting.
Though North Campus feels like a “satellite campus,” it’s a part of the University. Only 15 people showed up to last week’s meeting, which is indicative of the average student’s attitude toward North Campus: apathy. Efforts to improve the North Campus community, however, would likely spark enthusiasm for students who either choose or are forced to live there.
Many students go through their entire time at the University without having any reason to venture to North Campus. But if more students actually take part in these discussions, maybe North Campus doesn’t have to be a place that is avoided at all costs. Students need to voice their complaints and concerns about North Campus because the University is listening. This is a chance to turn North Campus into something that feels like a part of the University.
Better accessibility and more social events on North Campus are just a start to reconciling the estranged campus. The attitude and interest toward the campus has to change too in order to revive its image.