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Opinion: Construction woes

Samantha Abshire: Vision 2020 neglects the current student body’s experience

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 20:07

zarchry construction

Roger Zhang— THE BATTALION

Vision 2020 initiatives have turned campus into an educational construction zone.

In 1997, then-Texas A&M University President Ray Bowen selected 250 staff members, students and others to implement Vision 2020. The plan is designed to make A&M one of the top-10 universities in the nation by 2020 using 12 imperatives.

The plan includes goals of increasing faculty size substantially, expanding liberal arts programs and enriching the campus in aesthetics and functionality.

The problem with Vision 2020 and the campus renovations is that the experience of current Aggies is being sacrificed for future students and the reputation of the school.

We all know how frustrating construction on campus is, but the most frustrating thing of all is the way the projects seem to get started and then stay at a standstill, leaving the campus covered in orange fencing.

While Vision 2020 looks great on paper, the implementation is flawed. Current students have to live in a construction zone while paying rising tuition rates and subsidizing construction costs while dealing with the inconvenience that the construction causes.

The visionaries of the plan should keep current students in mind, balancing the needs of future Aggies with our own.

I hate knowing that my college experience consists of sleeping next to a construction zone with concrete trucks and bulldozers working through the night. Merely trying to have a conversation while walking on campus seems nearly impossible with the constant, noisy disruptions caused by the machinery and workers.

The competition with other public and private universities is turning Texas A&M into a franchise instead of a university that has students at heart.

I see that the sacrifices of our generation are necessary to improve the overall quality of our University, but it isn’t in our best interest to have to endure construction projects every 100 feet and the noise that, all things considered, causes a major disruption to our daily routines and lives.

The solution is to finish current construction before beginning new projects. By reducing the quantity of on-campus renovation, current students would not only have a more aesthetically pleasing campus but also enjoy more functionality and peace.

 

Samantha Abshire is a freshman biochemistry major and is special to The Battalion

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