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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Necessary repairs require immediate attention

Published: March 9, 2012
Section: Editorials

Our campus is falling apart—plain and simple. Walking around outside, the campus looks very nice. We have various new buildings sprinkling the campus and drawing attention away from some of the drearier buildings.

It is not until one enters one of these drearier buildings, however, that one truly realizes how poorly kept these buildings are. There are holes in ceilings, chipping paint, flickering lights, mangled desks, destroyed blackboards and a bevy of other issues.

The biggest problem is that these buildings are no longer safe. This school seems only willing to spend money to fix problems cosmetically rather than devoting some resources to fixing problems truly. For example, there is a chair in the Olin-Sang auditorium that has been broken for more than a semester; the entire chair has collapsed in on itself. Every week, however, the chair is made to look fixed, even though it is not. All it takes is a small amount of pressure—either from someone leaning on it or sitting in it—to realize that the chair is still broken.

This is dangerous. Earlier this week a professor fell in Olin-Sang; and by fell, we mean, face-planted. She was luckily fine but she could have been very hurt.

This brings us to another point. This professor fell due to a severely broken chair right in front of a visiting professor. Two Mondays in a row, visiting lecturers spoke in Olin-Sang 101 and commented on the broken chair. This makes the university look very bad.

Not only is this not the image we want to project to visiting professors but it is also not the image we want to project to prospective students.

The chair in Olin-Sang is hardly the largest problem. Upperclassmen remember the ceilings collapsing in Usen Castle two years ago; just because we are not seeing ceilings collapse right now does not mean the festering mold in them is gone. The basement rooms in Shapiro look more like prison cells than dorm rooms, with pipes—which burst on occasion—crisscrossing the space. Brown looks like it is from the 1950s, with holes in the ceiling and wires hanging dangerously lowly. Even the new buildings are not quite as shiny as they once were; Mandel is plagued by computer glitches and flickering lights in the auditorium.

It is time Brandeis stopped adding—unless it is more dorms and not offices—and focused on what we have, which is buildings that are falling apart and desperately in need of some reparative attention.