Over the past two years, the Knox campus has undergone many physical changes alongside its administrative and procedural upgrades. Although some renovations like the Whitcomb Art Center (WAC) were projects in the works long before they were built, those like the Post Hall lobby, Science and Mathematics Center (SMC) and Borzello Gallery surprised many students.
The student body was not informed or warned about any plans to turn the CFA commons into a gallery. The quick renovation process made it seem like the commons was transformed in a deliberately stealthy manner. Furthermore, the renovation included replacing gender-neutral bathrooms with gendered ones. Considering the population of queer Knox students and the long time we have pushed for bathroom rights, the administration should have done a better job of communicating with the student body.
We are grateful for the donations of all alumni; however, the administration must accept donations with students’ needs as their priority, not the donors’ wants. Regardless of which buildings or halls donors want to have named after them, the donations that will make a difference are those for which students ask. We want to renovate the Auxiliary Gym. We want renovations for residential halls. We want more study spaces like Founders Lab and CFA commons. We want more accessibility for classes and all campus buildings. We want new composting technology. We want our wishes and needs represented in donations and endowment.
We think that future renovations should be at least announced and explained to the student body ahead of time. That way, students will have the opportunity to contribute to the discussions. We are the ones who will end up — hopefully — benefiting from any and all renovations, improvements and changes so it only makes sense that we are at least invited to share our thoughts, concerns or comments and that we are consulted on issues that affect us directly.