I have been following the recent developments in construction taking place at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as of late with much interest. The new computer science building, a parking garage, and the potential acquisition of land on Girard Park Drive have all been announced or are currently being discussed, and all have the potential to impact our university in a positive way.
However, perhaps someone can explain to me why numerous projects with hefty price tags are being funded while at the same time when I attempt to visit the Edith Garland Dupré library after 7 p.m. the doors are locked and the building darkened. Or why the campus virtually ceases to function after 12:30 p.m. on Fridays in an effort to save money on the electricity bill (talk about pinching pennies). Or how when flipping through the university bulletin the phrase "only offered in the spring of even-numbered years" follows a course description all too frequently.
I understand that some of these planned construction projects have had money long set aside or are being funded directly by the students in the form of tuition hikes, but the perceived dramatic increase in developments both in the immediate and distant future has given me pause lately. Surely no one will dispute that growth and improvement to our beautiful campus is a bad thing, but such improvement at the cost of our education is a tragedy. Where is the improvement in courses offered, greater access to resources on campus? Surely that is a far more worthwhile discussion to have than endlessly debating the ridiculous university name change.
It is greatly disheartening to me as a student to feel that my education is being compromised due to budget sacrifices while the university merrily expands. Of course we want a large and prosperous campus with which to lure prospective students, but the most important aspect of this University of Louisiana at Lafayette should always, first and foremost, be its function as a provider of excellent education to its current students. With the flurry of attention surrounding the land swap and the new construction projects, it is remarkable to me that no one has stopped to ask how the shrinking budget yet expanding campus has affected the quality of education at UL.