NIU needs to fix the little things first

NIU has been setting a lot of new goals to help improve the university and provide more benefits to students. Although all the ideas have been great, NIU needs to remember all of the little things as well before thinking so big. Though they may not seem as significant, the little things add up.

Everyone has probably had at least one class in DuSable Hall at some point during their time at NIU. If you haven’t or if you just haven’t been in the building since freshman year, you’re missing out on the very elegant bathroom facilities. In one girls’ bathroom, the two end stalls are incredibly annoying because the walls move back and forth and aren’t sturdily in place. Then there’s the bathroom that not only doesn’t lock, but the entire lock is missing, leaving just a hole to see through. Then when you’re ready to wash your hands, you might mistakenly see long hairs in the sink, but really they are just long cracks.

Of course, this among any other improvements waiting to be made all depends on finances. But it’s something that shouldn’t be completely ignored since students deserve to go to the bathroom with a little peace of mind.

Another little thing to touch up around campus would be to freshen up some of the buildings. Some of the older buildings could use a new paint job just to renew it a little bit and make it seem livelier. An article in the publication School Planning and Management titled “Color in Education” stated that it’s helpful to repaint classrooms every couple of years.

Colors affect students’ learning abilities and can either enhance or impair them, according to the article. So aside from making the campus appear more up-to-date, it could also improve students’ learning.

Another small thing to improve that could make a difference on campus is advertising NIU’s opportunities outside of the classroom. To make NIU more appealing, future students should be aware of the benefits NIU has outside the classroom as well. Yes, our new renovations will be an asset, but NIU needs to lose the reputation of being a “suitcase” school. There should be more focus on what students can get involved in on campus because besides being a good way to meet new people, extracurriculars can be something that enhance the overall student experience or be used to build a resume.

“Social success is just as important as academic success,” said Student Association President Elliot Echols. “It helps prepare you for the real world.”

Echols also agreed that besides being a resume-builder, being involved develops you as a person and is a great way of networking. The university as a whole needs to give students a reason to stay and that has to start with the students themselves. Once we can do this, I think that alone will make a big impact.

Looking at the smaller picture sometimes can help paint the bigger picture of a bright future for NIU students. Paying attention to some of the minor things would be a good building block to the more major ones.