Monday morning the new UNH Twitter account, @UofNH, submitted the following tweet: "Attn #UNH Seniors! What would you like to leave as your Senior Gift? Let us know your ideas! Please use hashtag #UNHSeniorGift." UNH Class of 2012, this is our chance to leave our mark on this fine institution.
For the past four years, or more for the super and super, super seniors, UNH has provided us with an education to be successful in this devastating and depressing economy. Or at least they have convinced us that we can find jobs out there.
Personally, I'm not so sure. But hey, that's what graduate school is for, right? Delaying the inevitable for another couple years – or however long it takes. There's always mom and dad's basement and managerial positions at McDonalds. How do you say "would you like fries with that" in Spanish?
Anyway, back on topic: The 2012 UNH senior gift. Personally, I don't want to be remembered for a little granite bench or simply contributing to the new Peter T. Paul business school.
I'm a dreamer and I want our gift to be something that we can be proud of, that our state can be proud of and that the university can be proud of. Of course, that might be tough. The state obviously isn't very proud of us at all – I mean, they already cut our funding in half, and I'm willing to bet that the largest newspaper in the state has never written a positive article on UNH.
So what are the major things that UNH is known for? Well, if you read the papers we're known for being a party school, buying lots of beer, having high arrest numbers, disruptive concert crowds, not getting along well with the town of Durham, having poor diversity and race relations, a Greek system that loses a charter seemingly every week, and we have a pretty decent hockey team.
Out of all of those things that UNH is known for, our hockey team and particularly the state-of-the-art Whittemore Center, which is one of the very few Olympic sized rinks in the country, is something to truly be proud of. However, for the Whitt to be truly labeled "state-of-the-art" I believe that it is missing one key feature: a video replay scoreboard. I mean even the decrepit old Alfond Arena up in Orono, Maine, has a video board. Think of how much easier it will be to harass our favorite referees like the Hanson brothers when we have video evidence on our side.
Listen, the orange light bright scoreboard is unique to the Whitt, but it just doesn't do a good enough job. Sure the stick figures are entertaining, but player pictures are basically undecipherable and its technology sophistication is that of a 5-year-old's play toy.
You're probably thinking to yourself, how would this benefit the university as a whole? Well, let me put it this way: what other aspect of UNH draws more attention? The hockey program is nationally known, regularly sells out home games, makes TV appearances, and draws students from across the country as well as internationally. And while a video board may be expensive, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than a new football stadium. A replay board could also serve as a visual component to concerts, trade shows and other events held at the Whittemore Center.
If you're not yet sold on the idea of a video replay board there are many other options for the class of 2012's senior gift. This is our chance to come together and give something back to the community for a change. Another common idea could be setting up a scholarship fund for future students from tough economic backgrounds – in this economy and with rising tuition costs, cases like that will only become more likely. Other ideas could be murals, memorials, database subscriptions, specific renovations, and sustainability upgrades such as solar panels.
Bike racks and benches have been done numerous times – lets leave a gift unique to UNH and unique to the class of 2012.
Stay classy, not UMassy.