Another Year, Another Uneducated Complaint

The Charger Bulletin

by Rob Holub

Walk around this campus and you will hear an enormous buzz about the university and its recent achievements to become one of the premier learning institutions in the region. If you walk long enough (often from Maxcy Hall to Kaplan Hall), you will hear at least one student complaining about an issue that is either currently being resolved or at least meriting attention from the proper administration. I have had the privilege of seeing the transformation this campus has undergone over the past year. Last May I completed my undergrad work at UNH and am now enrolled in the master’s program all within the College of Business.

The recent article in last week’s Charger Bulletin by Matthew Ezzo (“Another Year, Another Eyesore“) was not only disheartening but also enraging. As the lacrosse team and I often read the Bulletin each Wednesday morning during breakfast after our practice, we find articles that entertain, educate, disappoint, and even spark debates (what all newspapers should do). It is very rare to find an article that results in an all out defense for the university because so many, including myself, disagree with the lack of research, references, and general aim of the article.

Mr. Ezzo, I am not questioning your writing abilities nor your desire to voice your opinion in our beloved 81-year-old student paper. I am challenging the level of commitment you put into your article as far as portraying your direct opinion as the opinion of the whole and actually delving into the history of the University of New Haven and the strategic mission and vision of President Kaplan and the Board of Governors.

A brief recap of the school’s history would enlighten anyone to the fact that the school has made a conscious effort to go from a majority commuter school to a residential campus. If you look over the past decade plus and you eliminate all of the additions from campus, you would now lose Bartels Campus Center, Echlin Dining Hall, the bookstore, Bixler, Botwinik, New Hall, the Recreation Center, Kayo Field (turfed and unturfed), DellaCamera Field, all of the off-campus housing, and even the use of Bethel as a residence hall (it used to be an administrative building). What does that leave? A school that equals a community college, such as Gateway. I would have a hard time believing that Mr. Ezzo, myself, and thousands of others would have chosen to attend the university if it were this kind of landscape.

Progression is a natural part of life, especially your college career. Quinnipiac University was under the same constraints as we are 10 years ago. They made major physical renovations and construction, and are now considered within the Northeast’s top schools in terms of prestige and recognition.

I also have come to the conclusion (please correct me if I am wrong) that you have had little experience with general construction. This current “nuclear fallout site” that consists only of “dirt and rocks” is one of the cleanest and most maintained sites I have ever seen. As a person who grew up working in the housing construction industry, I have seen my fair share of disastrous planning, untidy sites, and unnecessary pollution (both noise and environmental). Compare this current build to the Rec Center, which would make the Soundview site look like a priceless Ming Vase. The last time I worked on a site, I never expected to see acres of flawless grass, dozens of full bloomed rose bushes, or even finished pavement in a “construction site.” If you are still concerned about the dirt and rocks making up the largest proportion of the landscape, think about the last time you played “construction” with your Tonka trucks.

To tangent off for a quick moment (and not because someone told me I should do it-which is often the sign of a journalist who does not pride himself in his work), I applaud the university for continuing and making new construction plans. I agree that parking (which features an EMPTY lot behind Winchester every night where I park for my 6 p.m. class as a commuter) can be hectic, pollution is unsightly, and hammers do not sound like doves. You have to look to the bigger picture and see that the university is booting local commerce and the economy as a whole by providing dozens upon dozens of jobs, retailers and wholesalers revenue, and boosting the value of our degrees.

In conclusion, I invite you to take a “leave of absence” from this university if it perturbs you this much to be on a campus that is continually undergoing facelifts or simply question your decision of coming here in the first place (as research has shown that this is only one of your first years on campus). This university has discovered a gem in President Kaplan as he has made very clear of his future plans for changing Ruden Street, new residence halls, athletic facilities, classrooms, institutes, and even the main entrance since I arrived in September of 2004. Please do more research before jumping to conclusions and “polluting” the air with more uneducated complaints.