Monday, March 27, 2023

Renovations across campus mark change

The sun has traveled around the sun four times since I stepped foot in the North Country. It is my last semester as an undergraduate student and Plattsburgh State does not look the same. From vintage rustic vibes to modern lodge vibes, Plattsburgh has remodeled and rebranded all over. 

Fire places, kiosks and televisions galore, Clinton Dining Hall was one of the first locations to have a total remodel. Now a chic modern eatery, it has no reminisce of the original dining area where students once sat and ate.  

The one thing that will never change about Clinton? The ice cream. Sophomore criminal justice major Jason Alvarado said: “I think the ice cream in Clinton Dining Hall is tradition. You eat, watch TV and in the end you always leave with your ice cream.” 

Senior finance major Dequan Walker hasn’t paid much attention to the changes. 

“The renovations are OK, out of all of them I like the H.U.B. Other than that I don’t really pay too much attention to it,” Walker said.

Another recent renovation was the first floor ACC bathrooms. The selfie staple of a body length mirror in the bathrooms is long gone, but the makeover was long overdue. 

“The bathroom renovation was annoying, they could’ve done that when everyone was on break,” Walker said.  

The ACC’s busiest bathrooms were out of business for months and left students no choice but to travel up to the second floor or even nearby buildings to find other facilities. Now that the first-floor bathrooms are completed, the rest of the bathrooms in the ACC are out of order as more renovations come, with no clear sign of when they could be open again. 

“It makes the school look better, but I’m not sure who exactly made the decision to put these things where and when because sometimes it’s an inconvenience to students,” Walker said. “In the future I hope to see them do renovations when students have break instead of the start or middle of the semester.” 

The renovation of the central elevated walkways through campus from cobblestone to heated paths was a change that took a long time. 

The project was completed in the spring 2018 semester and the paths are now sedum-covered crossroads that connect multiple buildings around campus. 

“It’s very convenient, I can walk or cross the path bridge and be on the other side of campus in a matter of minutes. I use it all the time,” Alvarado said. 

From unveiling a new Burghy mascot, renovating dorms and moving offices around campus it appears that quite a lot of money is being spent on the beautification of the campus. But what about systematic changes?

As a predominantly white institution (PWI) with more and more minority students, Plattsburgh State needs more faculty and staff members that mirror the students. Students need professors that look just like them, come from similar backgrounds and can relate to experiences. That’s an investment for the betterment of the campus community and minority student communication.  

With a new school mascot means new stickers, logos and apparel, but spending $65 on one hoodie is a steep price to pay for some school pride, so maybe the cost of school-sold merchandise should be cut. 

My time here is coming to an end and there are still issues that need fixing: real systematic changes, not just beautification changes. My final drive through the Adirondack mountains will be sad but Plattsburgh State has seen me grow and prosper, and I can’t wait to see it do the same.

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