I arrived at BC on a sunny Monday afternoon towards the end of June eager to see my luscious campus in full summer swing. However, when I ascended from Iggy towards Middle Campus I was shocked to find a huge chunk of green missing. That’s right folks, the quad is gone.
Now, had I been more aware of what is happening on campus, I would have known that the quad is undergoing major renovations over the summer. According to the Boston College Chronicle:
“The Quad project will entail replacing the present network of paths and its central hub with a diagonal north-to-south walkway, and leveling the area’s grade to provide improved pedestrian traffic flow and provide better outdoor function space.”
The majority of the trees will be removed to create a more open space, and a continuous path connecting O’Neil to Stokes will be implemented. The gap between Gasson and the quad will also be converted into a walkway for pedestrians as opposed to a road for vehicles.
So I get it BC, you want campus looking in tip-top shape. That’s why Gasson was renovated, and that’s why St. Mary’s is currently undergoing major construction. It’s why $78 million was spent on the construction of lavish Stokes Hall, which I can only hope will soon be followed by the demolition of the crusty and decrepit Carney Hall. I mean come on, this building was built backwards and there always seems to be something leaking or it feels like the building is on the verge of collapsing. Just stepping foot into that place makes me feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone of BC. Don’t lie, I know you avoid having class in that sad, sad building as much as I do.
But that’s beside the point. What I’m getting at here is that the campus changes and improvements BC has been spending money on are valuable. But the quad is where I draw the line. What’s wrong with the quad and the way it was? Sure the ground wasn’t level, there were random rocks jutting out of the ground, and the trees weren’t perfectly aligned, but did it really look that bad? I personally liked the way the quad looked before, and see no need to spend valuable dollars on something that doesn’t necessarily need to be changed.
Why can’t this money be spent on something more valuable, like increases in financial aid packages for undergrads? Bizjournals.com reports that BC is the fourth most expensive undergraduate education in Massachusetts, with the 2012-2013 tuition and fees reaching $55,748. I have heard countless stories of accepted students who had to decline BC’s invitation simply because of financial reasons. Loans are becoming more difficult to maintain and with rising tuition costs, taking the risk to come to BC is not worth it. If there were more wiggle room within the financial aid department, then maybe more students who love this campus as much as I do would have the opportunity to gain a BC education.
But this is just an idea. I’m sure there are a million other ways the money can be spent, but I don’t think that the renovation of the quad will neithor improve nor worsen student life on campus. Rebuilding the circus tent that we call “The Plex” though? Now that’s an idea.