I am going to take a slightly different approach than usual with this column. Instead of focusing on one big topic I would like to share my thoughts on a few things I have noticed about UNH so far this semester. First of all, I cannot believe how quickly this semester is going. One day you're unpacking in your new room or apartment and the next thing you know you're on your third Redbull trying to learn two months worth of material the night before your first midterm exam. Ah college, the best years of our lives.
This first observation is about the hockey team, but not how they have played or who is playing well. UNH hockey players, listen up. I have really enjoyed watching the games this year; I honestly think this year has the potential to make a lot of noise in Hockey East and on the national level. But there is one thing that I really feel obligated to bring up. Everyday I walk past the Whitt a few times, and once in a while I must pass by right around the time members of the team are leaving. I have noticed that the hockey team has some sort of Vespa Scooter gang. I find this very entertaining, but they should really be wearing helmets. Come on guys, you should know better. I'm not going to lie, seeing certain star athletes pull out onto Main Street makes me a little nervous.
You are already on a scooter, wearing a helmet won't make you look any less cool. Those scooters fit perfectly inside a car's blind spot, and from having to cross Main Street a few times a day I have the authority to say there are some terribly reckless drivers on this campus. Wear a helmet. I am helping to pay your scholarships, so take care of yourself, so you can perform well in games. I don't want to sound like I am favoring the hockey team; I know a lot of athletes and other students ride scooters, so you should all wear helmets too.
My next observation is about the dining halls. Now, I know we've had our problems in the past over childish ideas and misunderstandings, but this is a more serious observation. I have spent a solid week or so reading and being lectured about the codfish stocks in the oceans. Bottom line, they're better than they were about 10 or 20 years ago, but overall they are still terribly low and are currently being fished in an unsustainable manner. So, what do I see about once a week in dining halls? Cod nuggets. Assuming that it is real cod – or even real fish for that matter – it really surprised me to see our "go green or die" dining halls serve cod. What's for dessert, bald eagle? I mentioned this before on the blog and even wrote a napkin note, to which they basically replied, "We do care about sustainability, but we also care about pleasing our students," and then ignored the rest of my point. I'm not making this complaint because I'm a crazy hippy; I just really like to fish and would like our future oceans to still have cod. Every little thing helps, or at least that's why I'm told to recycle and vote, right?
Next up on my list of observations actually came from a few of my roommates, and it is something that I've heard students talk about before, and now I see why. There is a drastic need for some sort of footbridge or tunnel at the train tracks between A-Lot and the Whittemore Center. I mean, I want to go to the gym, but I don't want to walk four minutes to get there. That attitude seems completely right to me. It could even be further back to more easily connect the Gables and the Woodsides. On a more serious note, I think some sort of a pathway would help reduce foot traffic on Main Street. Pedestrian traffic only gets worse in the winter, especially after events let out at the Whittemore Center.
These are just a few of my major observations about the state of UNH so far this semester. I guess on the whole it has been an uneventful semester, at least compared to past years. Wear a helmet, don't eat cod and consider the need for a footbridge.
Stay classy, not UMassy.