The trials we endure for the future

Tip of the week:

When walking across campus after dark beware of well-placed, shadowed puddles of cement.

Yeah, well, I didn’t care too much for that pair of shoes anyway.

When I think about NIU’s current state of de(con)struction it’s not the little things that annoy me. I don’t get too upset about the triangles of dirt that soil the inside cuffs of my jeans that even bleach won’t remove, the pair of Converse that lasted six months when its predecessors have lasted a year or having to trudge and climb my way through the Lucinda Canyon on a daily basis.

What does annoy me is the city of DeKalb’s wonderful timing in its endeavor to tear up Lincoln Highway and continue NIU’s motif of disarray. On a weekday afternoon it’s actually faster to truck a mile to Hillcrest to get from the west end of campus to the east end than lurch across the Lincoln parking lot. But, what do you expect from a town of people who can’t even decide to step around pigeon dung without turning it into a major debate.

What concerns me is what’s being built here at NIU. Or, rather, when it’s being built and who it’s being built for.

NIU President John La Tourette said it himself during this year’s state of the university address that NIU is building the university of the 21st century. During his address he urged faculty to stiffen their lips and cope with the construction, because it will help to carry NIU into the 21st century.

Great, the faculty will be around to reap the rewards of all the mud and gravel that presently line this campus. And, I assume, so will the students of the 21st century. But, what about those of us riding out the tail end of the 20th? Don’t we deserve a little something for choking on all this mud, gravel and dust besides tuition and student fee increases?

I’m really trying to avoid ragging on the administration in this column (for numerous reasons) but I really do feel like I’m being served a raw deal here. I think nearly all the students on campus are.

Some of us will never see a Student Life Building or a pretty red-brick median running down Lucinda Avenue. Many of us won’t see an addition to the student recreation center. None of us will get to use the new parking garage. But we’ve all had to suffer the trials of mass demolition.

A disheveled atmosphere leads to a disheveled mind.

The majority of students feel like we’re being shafted for four (or five) years straight so the faculty, the administration and the students of the future can thrive in the campus of the 21st century.

You may disagree with this statement if you like, but I believe that’s how we feel.

Some people might think that this isn’t true because students have jumped at the administration’s offer to use their remaining bond revenue money to build an addition to the rec center.

We’ll, of course we’re going to say yes to a bone that is actually going to be buried in our back yard. While the parking garage isn’t going help students and there’s still a lot of question surrounding who really wants a Student Life Building, this is something the students can call ours.

I’m not sure what I’m asking for in this column. Maybe that students won’t have to fork out eleven bucks a year for the rec center until it is actually built and in use. Maybe even just a pat on the back and some lip service about how all this construction that we’re choking on really isn’t conducive to an educational environment.

How about a student appreciation day? The idea’s cheesy but I think the intention is headed in the right direction.

One thing I’ve learned from life is that a little gratitude goes a long way.