The Board of Trustees recently signed off on two monumental projects for the university, a second medical school in Charlotte and the College Academic Commons, a new building on Davis Field (more information on page 1). Although there is merit in the university working to provide new academic resources for students, the Editorial Board of the Old Gold & Black is also concerned that the university’s business goals do not always align well with student needs.
Although the establishment of a new medical school campus in Charlotte does not directly impact undergraduate students, it does elevate the local and national image of the university. Another medical campus in the university’s name can only bolster its overall reputation. In addition, the new medical school may encourage students from North Carolina to potentially pursue a career in medicine in Charlotte, which in turn could help increase the medical alumni network in the area.
The Editorial Board … is also concerned that the university’s business goals do not always align … with student needs. “
However, the choice to fund a project so disconnected from campus does call into question how the university is going to handle current crises. For instance, Johnson, Bostwick, Luter and Collins Residence Halls are all in dire need of renovations — and the university has not announced any plans to address this.
While the College Academic Commons will be an exciting addition to the Reynolda campus, especially for students studying the humanities, it is concerning that the university’s most exciting on-campus construction endeavor does not address the housing crisis. There is no doubt that this building will be a state-of-the-art construction, but it is also worth noting that juniors are living in Luter Residence Hall and Palmer and Piccolo Residence Halls are permanently closed to residents. With the purchase of Winston-Salem First Church’s property, the Editorial Board of the Old Gold & Black is hoping that the university announces plans to expand housing in the near future.
As the campus continues to expand, it’s imperative that the university considers the needs of the ever growing student population. Whether that be in the form of constructing new academic buildings or new housing for students, working towards a more successful future ultimately has to be a dual effort on behalf of the university. Innovative endeavors in creating new academic spaces must be balanced with addressing current concerns about student life and wellbeing.