Classrooms wanted: why all this construction may be off the mark

Sept. 8, 2014

Scribe Staff
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$39 million for a parking garage and academic offices. Check.

Another record year for student enrollment, with our total reaching over 11,000 for the first time.

Check. Professors not having to fight over class times and classroom locations? Um…

UCCS exists to serve students, at least in theory. While trying to address the parking issue that students face daily is in students’ interest, adding an entire building devoted to offices seems off the mark. Professors, undoubtedly, are a vital part of our campus life and a necessary medium for learning to occur.

But what happens if they don’t have anywhere to teach? What happens if we have students with nowhere to sit because the classroom they are in is not conducive or sufficient for the class? What if there are not enough desks, or the proper technology resources?

A class last semester was kicked out of the Heller Center, and had to be moved downtown. Countless studies have shown the impact your environment has on your learning. Being crammed into a corner with a desk that can’t even hold a book, while not a category in any of those studies, is assuredly not advantageous to the learning process.

And learning is why we are paying thousands of dollars a semester to be here.

UCCS enrollment is continually growing in part, ironically, due to the small size of the campus, small size of classes and personalized attention our campus and professors can offer. Those traits are what make us unique and successful.

We cannot afford (perhaps that is the wrong term, as it seems we can afford a lot of things) to lose sight of who we are or who we are here for. In the end, when you push away all the muck on the outside, our only goal is to serve students.

Officials on our campus must have this goal at the forefront of every decision that they make. They need to understand why they are here and, as actions speak louder than words, act like they know why they are here. If they don’t, they need to be reminded.

The Scribe worries that as we grow, UCCS will lose sight of our purpose, sight of why we are here.

Don’t let the runaway freight train that our expansion seems to be cloud this overriding, everlasting purpose: students first.