In a time of potential budget cuts and falling enrollment numbers, necessity over luxury is key when it comes to Master Plan priorities and campus renovations.
According to “A Campus Re:Envisioned” — which was proposed to the Board of Trustees and lays out ideas for changing the campus — NIU’s goals include planting 2,018 trees, creating gardens and sprucing up the lagoon. These goals are classified as priority tasks that can be completed almost immediately.
One goal, the revamping of the Holmes Student Center, is a smart move that will only benefit students. Having one place to get all paperwork and questions out of the way would cut down on the Huskie shuffle.
Although NIU has said Holmes will be changed by 2019, this change should be made by fall so incoming students can make the most of it.
Planting 2,018 trees and having food trucks on campus can wait. A food truck won’t prevent students from going home. Instead, the administration should pool NIU’s resources to make things more convenient for students. Plan alternative parking to appeal to the university’s large population of commuter students.
Proposed buses and trolleys can help commuter students, as NIU can shuttle commuters from parking lots to their class buildings if nearby parking is full.
Renovations are important in creating a hip campus that may draw in students, but if NIU wants to retain the students it has it must meet their needs. NIU needs student-service help and convenience for commuter students.
The trees are a nice touch, but we’re good on oxygen for now.