February 12, 2008 1:53 PM
The Berkeley campus is a "dynamic center of scholarship and of cultural and political activity," according to the Campus page of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism's website. I read pamphlets extolling Berkeley's virtues as an ever-changing, constantly shifting forum for ideas and activity. Berkeley has a very dynamic campus, and in more ways than one.
I'm referring, of course, to the construction projects all over campus.
With changes in the school's structure come changes in the physical campus. Increases in student enrollment lead to an increased need for student housing and dining facilities; in other words, more dorms and dining commons. The Bioengineering building (Stanley Hall) was just finished, and the new Chang-Lin Tien Center for East Asian Studies should be finishing up soon.
All these new buildings are integral to Berkeley's progress as a premier educational and research institute.
They sure are annoying, though. As I write this in CNR's Student Resource Center, the demolition of Warren Hall (home of the School of Public Health) is underway. In its place will be the Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences (lovely name). Barrows Hall is still marked up and ugly (the concrete exterior is undergoing testing). I remember last year, when I lived in Unit 2, and my room was facing the construction of the Underhill Parking Facility. Every morning would start with construction noises.
I am not necessarily particularly annoyed by all these construction projects and repairs. I just wish things would stay set for a while. I hate having to walk around Giannini Hall in the rain, only to find that my path is blocked by a fence because of some sidewalk reconstruction. I want the campus to remain static, and not constantly develop new buildings and demolish old ones (although I am all for the removal of the eyesore that is Evans Hall). Imagine the disappointment of all the tour groups that come through Berkeley, wanting to take pictures of the historic campus, to see it undergoing such drastic changes.
Still, that is part of the student experience, I guess. If I were to come back to this campus 50 years from now to see just how my school has changed...that would be something. That might be why alumni love to come back here. To see a place that remains indelibly unchanged in their memories, and to see how it continues to grow and develop...I guess there is a value of nostalgia in that.
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