Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wishful Renovations

As we all know, UNH is lacking funds right now. New Hampshire is ranked 50th in state funding of higher education, and we are not even close to 49th. On top of that, the state legislature recently passed a new budget that will cut funding to the University System of New Hampshire, and specifically cut funding to UNH by 45 percent. That 45 percent translates to roughly $40 million (edit: should read about $30 million) in cuts for our university. Let's face it, that type of budget cut will not be good for UNH, especially at this time when so many of our buildings are deteriorating and the only sizeable donations are for a business school we probably don't even need.

Thinking about the budget cuts and the absurdity of past projects (such as the traffic circle) here at UNH got me thinking about some other renovations or campus additions that could benefit us as well. Aside from the obvious academic buildings such as Hamilton Smith and Nesmith (and every other academic building on campus that predates World War II), I came up with a few wishful (but highly unrealistic) renovations. This is a college, who needs nice classrooms?

While these ideas are not in any particular order, I think the top of my list would be Cowell Stadium. President Huddleston has mentioned it before and if you know anything about football you'll know that our stadium is among the worst in the FCS (Division IAA). A nice new stadium, one that does not even have to be much bigger, would attract more fans and even help with recruiting. If you're a player deciding between two similar schools, a nice fan base is a definite bonus. UNH hockey players often say that they love the environment of the Whitt; I'd love to see our football team say similar things.

I think one of the biggest disappointments of our campus is that huge concrete deck hanging off the back of the MUB. One thing UNH lacks is a nice outdoor studying or eating area. I'm not really sure what to call that area, but it seems like it had so much potential and it just fell flat. Even when the weather is nice I rarely see students out there. You know what, maybe we could even have a campus bar out there. Some larger schools such as the University of Wisconsin have bars right in their student centers, but wait, that would be fun. UNH doesn't approve of fun (unless you count President Huddleston tweeting his fake counterpart - pure gold). While a bar might be a bit of a stretch, one semi-feasible option would be have an outdoor area at one of the dining halls. Knock down the back window-wall at Philbrook, put up a little fence and add a few picnic tables and students would have a great shaded area to eat during the nicer months of the year.

Those of you who live in The Gables will definitely be able to relate to these next few. A small dining hall in the Gables area would be amazing. You have no idea how annoying it is to walk all the way to HoCo on the weekends. You know what? Just throw up a McDonald's right in the courtyard and we'll call it even. American stereotypes are fun! Lazy. A more serious option for the Gables area would be to clear out the wooded area between the buildings and create a nice quad area like the grass in front of the Mills. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the trees and being green, but a nice field of grass for sports and sunbathing would be perfect for that area.

Lastly, and this is probably my most serious one, let's just demolish Stoke. Let's just blow it up and pretend that building never happened. It would provide instant beautification of our campus and also cut down on 95 percent of the false fire alarms. I think the Durham Fire Department would appreciate it very much.

When it comes to making necessary renovations and campus projects, it is extremely important to make priorities, especially when funds are low. The UNH campus is deteriorating faster than we can raise money, which is causing higher tuition. Alumni funds are lacking and the outlook is not good. Now excuse me, I need to go protect myself from all the hate business students are about to send my way.

Stay classy, not UMassy.


  1. a hater in the name of loveApril 12, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    true story, WSBE doesn't need a new building.

    true story, traffic circle is probably the dumbest idea ever

    true story, a bar would make most of those MUB event's the school wastes their money on almost bearable

  2. There used to be a pub (The MUB Pub) in the MUB where the food court is now. It went away not long after the drinking age was raised to 21.

  3. outdoor seating/dining - YES! that would be awesome.

    As would a campus bar. But I guess having 4 bars right on main street kind of would be their argument against it.

    Awww, poor Stoke, ha ha. It's actually cleaned up a ton in the past year, it's just wicked outdated on the inside (as are many dorms right now).

    I feel bad that UNH is going to lose so much funding. I'm graduating, but still, I care about this place and I'd hate to see it go downhill just because they don't have the resources.

    Ignore the hate that you will probably get from business kids. I could go on about that but I'll just say that I agree with you completely.

  4. A legit dining hall at the Gables would be amazing. That would probably generate a lot more dining plans too for the University because I know I am only getting 50-75 swipes because I don't want to go all the way to the dining hall but am buying a decent amount of dining dollars for GayCo.

    I completely agree with the new business school and Stoke.

  5. Not needed but a nice thing to have would be a legit video board instead of the light-brite board we currently have in the whitt

    my quit fix solution would be to fire highest paid state employee :-P

  6. I actually had the video screen at the Whit and a parking garage on my original list, but I couldn't fit them into the 750 words for TNH and I had mentioned them several times before in different columns or blog posts. (I know I've mentioned the football stadium a lot, but let's face it, it's a piece of crap!)

  7. a video screen at the whit will be nice but a better football stadium needs to happen, maybe adding lights to the stadium to have later games will allow more students to go to the games since no students show up at 12 pm on a saturday afternoon after partying all night. Screw redoing PCAC and redo the stadium first, more money for the school to help balance the budget. props to coach McDonnell for rebuilding the football program

  8. a statue of the student depiction of the new hampshirite somewhere on main st. would be nice!

  9. I like the old school "video" board in the Whitt. My boston school friends that visit said it adds a lot more character and tradition. For example, UNH intro when Black Betty was playing, the giant flag skating around, and fans clapping was a classic. The other schools have shitty compilation videos that no one cares about and will forget about 2 minutes later.

  10. Definitely agree on Stoke (laughed really hard at that one) but that would force a lot more triples. They would need to build more residence halls to make that reasonable. Bar/outdoor seating is a great idea.. Ballard's doesn't cut it these past few days, especially now that Wings and their patio isn't open anymore.

    Parking garage is a definite must. And the guy who donated to WSBE should reconsider putting the money towards something more useful. McConnell is fine, especially compared to some of the other academic buildings (Ham Smith?).

  11. An eatery of sorts for the Gables? A place that houses a barely 1000 kids? meh. They're talking about closing down Stillings on Fridays (again btw) because they don't get enough kids going there and they are surrounded by housing for 1500 kids + Woodsides. Would you Gables kids be too lazy to walk to the Visitor Parking Center though? I think that would be a great way to incorporate Gables + Commuters (over 500 cars are in lot A), and expand the utility of areas that we already have available instead of having to pay to break new ground somewhere else.

  12. I am all for relocating the funds for the business school. Can I request clocks in the academic buildings? Also, maybe do something permanent about the Spaulding cockroaches.