The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

A Dose of Dowd: Closing time

Now is a time to reflect on the problems and successes of this semester and look forward to spring semester – if you get a spare moment between slamming Red Bulls to stay awake studying before finals and taking shots of vodka afterwards. Or maybe just mixing the two and having way too much fun on that comprehensive biology exam.

Overall, this semester has been a tragic one.

Campus saw more than its fair share of loss with the death of five students and a faculty member during the summer and fall semester.

Aside from these sad stories, the standard issues arose: alcohol consumption, community relations and the effects of budget cuts.

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Still, a few news stories made this semester notable and they will affect the future of UW-Eau Claire.

Current problems indicate increased costs
The needed increase in fees to fund projects that are essential to the functioning of the university became evident this semester.

As a May graduate, I say bring it on. But for all of the underclassmen, you don’t have to like it, but you better expect to pay more for college.

In the overall scheme of things, spending a little more money will make your time here more enjoyable.

The high carbon dioxide content in Schneider Hall gave students a valid excuse for falling asleep in class, much to the chagrin of professors teaching in the poorly ventilated hall.

While the high levels don’t physically harm anyone, the problem should be remedied to increase productivity in the building.

This is one issue that needs to be tackled right away, before any other academic building ideas are addressed.

Then there is the Campus Master Plan.
With an overall price tag of $150 million, getting all of the requested changes and upgrades to the university is a pipe dream. However, making some of these improvements is necessary.

The temperature and air quality fluctuations in Davies Center and Schneider Hall are just a couple of problems. Buildings have issues with excessive noise in classrooms, space management problems and small structural cracks that need fixing.

Since our enrollment is not increasing, it seems like expanding academic and recreational student spaces is a waste of money, but the fact is that many of our facilities are decaying.

When you look at the cornerstones of buildings on campus, none of them are very new. Most of the construction done in the last few decades, with the exception of Chancellors Hall, has been renovation work.

If we want facilities that are on par with other colleges, it’s going to cost us, but we need to push for more construction projects.

Student Senate wheelings and dealings
Student Senate did its part in helping to raise the bottom line on our bills, but Senators did it at a relatively low cost for what we’ll get.

The ongoing cost of playing football at Carson Park and funding a major portion of the field upkeep will decrease in the future, thanks to the $300,000 students will spend to get turf on the field. I’m not crazy about making students spend that much money during the next 10 years, but if that’s what it takes to prevent us from spending the annual cost of $40,000 to fix the field, then it’s a good thing.

Senate also approved a trial run of a late-night bus service and the city supported it. Instead of suckering someone in as a designated driver, students will have their own taxi service. If this keeps just a few people from driving drunk, it will be worth the cost.

If it isn’t utilized next semester, it probably will disappear and students will lose an important service.

Take a stand
Issues usually get brought to light because of an important development printed in the paper, but it is best to be mindful of problems that exist, despite a lack of attention given to them.

College students can take on problems and affect change before we have to begin our careers. Now is the best time to try and change the world.

Find something you are passionate about, and next semester, join a committee, talk to Senate, write a petition, start another awareness week, write a letter to the editor or simply take the time to read an article on it.

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A Dose of Dowd: Closing time