5 ways to replace Douglas

By Anthony Szudarski

What does NIU need now that a beloved residence hall is slated for demolition?

As a former resident of Douglas Hall, I’ve thought of a few ideas that might be more beneficial to the campus than the plan of extending Lucinda Avenue.

No. 1: A Giant Huskie statue

Not only would a Huskie statue be a great tourist attraction; it would forever solidify our school pride.

We could have a stairway built inside so people could climb to the top and take pictures. Inside would be a Huskies museum showing all the great accomplishments of NIU — athletics and other — and DeKalb.

Plus, how cool would it be to see a giant Huskie when you come into town?

No. 2: Two words: more parking

It’s no secret it’s a pain finding parking on campus.

While another parking garage wouldn’t help anyone when they want to go to class, having it for students who live in the residence halls could be beneficial.

In winter it would fill up quickly so students wouldn’t have to shovel their cars out of the snow.

But that’s not all: For those who go to the Recreation Center, Kevin Koch, junior public health major and former Douglas Hall resident, said one or two levels should be free for anyone.

“There should really be a free parking lot for students who want to go to the Rec when that lot gets filled up,” Koch said. “I think students would really use that more.”

No. 3: Douglas Hall II

This one’s simple: We kill the Batman. No, wait, that’s not it. This is it: Knock down Douglas and put up another affordable residence hall in its place.

Yes, Douglas and Lincoln halls are rundown and old, but they were some of the cheaper housing options, which is the main reason I lived in Douglas my freshman year.

Even if it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing place to live, students know how to make do with what they have.

No. 4: Quad

NIU has a few nice open spaces where students can go and relax during their downtime, but all of them are rather spaced out.

By adding onto the open field between Douglas and Stevenson halls, NIU could create a pleasant quad for students to enjoy in the few warm months we do get, complete with a building for the new Dog Pound Deli, since that’s the best part of Douglas, anyway.

And for the cold months — well, maybe we could have some husky sled lessons.

No. 5: Puppy play pen

Probably my only serious suggestion in this list is adding an animal shelter to campus. That would be amazing.

With organizations like TAILS Humane Society, 2250 Barber Greene Road, and other shelters in the DeKalb area, it would be easy enough to have animals brought to a campus shelter for students to play with to lower their stress levels and give the animals some much-needed play time.

It might even help raise some adoption numbers. Let’s be honest: How are you going to say no if you look into the eyes of a husky puppy?

Obviously, some of these ideas are outlandish — probably all of them, really. Students like senior sociology major Nathan Tripp said something that can be used by the students is more needed than the extension of the road.

“I feel [Douglas Hall] should be replaced with some form of student center,” Tripp said. “Something with a lounge, computer lab, eating place or game room — something students who work and live on this side of campus can hang out in.”

The space where Douglas stands is valuable to the university. It should be used for more than a simple road extension.