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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

EDITORIAL: Campus facelift good for the collective soul

Published: August 28, 2009
Section: Front Page

This fall returning students were greeted with a surprise. Instead of a bottomless pit where the old admissions building once stood, there is now a near completed building. Many thought the new admissions building was a waste of money, though the university could not use the funds for any other purpose. And while Carl and Ruth Shapiro’s donation could have greatly benefited other areas of the university, their generosity has done much to alleviate our campus’s aesthetic challenges.

The building is actually attractive – which cannot be said of the majority of structures on this campus. Further, the new admissions building along with the new science center and Ridgewood residence halls finally brings some architectural cohesion to lower campus. Now, instead of looking entirely out of place, the Shapiro Campus Center matches its surroundings. If a visitor never ventured above the campus center, the site of the new science center, new admissions building, and Ridgewood and Village residence halls might actually make said visitor think this campus is modern in the best sense of the word.

Our campus’s architecture and aesthetic appeal may seem trivial – as just another attempt to woo prospective students while diverting funds from necessary if less glamorous projects. And to a certain extent that is true. Nonetheless, after a semester of upheaval in which our morale plummeted along with our endowment, it is heartening to come back to tangible proof that our university still stands and there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.