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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

General campus improvements: Make Brandeis more presentable

Published: April 23, 2010
Section: Opinions

Last week I wrote about some of the questionable “truths” about Brandeis’ self image. Having mentioned housing as one of Brandeis’ deficits, I thought I’d discuss the upcoming improvements to the Charles River Apartments.

This is a good thing. Improving housing during summer break when students don’t need to use it is definitely positive. The only possible argument against it is that these improvements will lead to a rise in housing prices in addition to the already rising costs of tuition.

But Brandeis needs to do more to improve dorms. Since Brandeis is already unable to house all students, it is a step in the right direction to make housing that has been known to be undesirable more desirable (even if the improvements are slight).

While the Charles River Apartments are still physically isolated from the main campus, at least students are filling the beds rather than the 68 vacancies last fall. Even more beds were empty this semester. The fact that more students are deciding they’d rather live there then search for off-campus housing proves the university is moving towards offering housing that is comparable to off campus options.

Additionally, this past Friday students received an e-mail inviting them to vote and provide feedback on a project to heal the landscape as part of the science complex renewal. Options include a set of four sand volleyball courts, a four-seasons garden and a hybrid that includes two volleyball fields as well as a garden.

The volleyball courts would bring an element of recreation to the campus by having a space available for it.

While I personally prefer the hybrid, as it provides the best of both worlds, any one of these plans would greatly improve the university. Right now Brandeis has the Great Lawn and Chapels field. With the addition of this space students will have more options of where to study, meet with friends, or just relax and breathe in the fresh air.

Hopefully these trends will continue. The flooding this past spring has certainly shown a handful of buildings could use repairs.  While some may need them more than others, I hope that whatever future renovations occur do not interfere with students’ ability to live on-campus.

There seems a lesson to be learned from Brandeis’ recent improvement projects. This university is capable of improvement.