Building from the ground up

Years of physical improvements to Sonoma State University’s campus have produced varied reactions from faculty and students alike. Whether or not the general population of the school is in favor of the expensive makeover that has been taking place over recent years, it’s still happening.

However, one must look past the basic aesthetics of this revamping. What may seem like hundreds of thousands of dollars spent merely on pretty buildings is actually a much more dynamic plan at work. A plan that many people are (so far, at least) surprisingly pleased with.

In what used to be the building that housed the old Student Union and Pub, a lot of reorganizing has happened. Sonoma State’s International Hall will be receiving a rededication this Monday after months of refurbishment.

Now the space is being used to better suit the needs of international students, as well as house the Study Abroad and National Exchange Student programs.

Although the controversial issue of the production of the new Student Center has been beaten to death, it’s important to take something away from the matter. Have we benefited from the dollars spent on this large-scale project? While some may be bitter from the extra money they had taken away via tuition, there has been plenty of positive feedback.

The new eateries, while a bit pricey, serve much better dishes than those of the old cafeteria. Lobo’s has played host to numerous open mic nights and Seawolf showcases, bringing students together every week. Clubs and organizations were given a new, updated space to work with. One of the chief benefits of the new Student Center is its central location. This allows students to enter the building and take care of their hunger as well as look for a new book or sweatshirt. Students are able to enter discussion rooms and relax with friends.

As years pass, we forget why we were so troubled by such a large new addition and instead we start to take advantage of the benefits. But that does not negate the fact that the addition of the new Student Center came at a cost worth more than money.

We lost the beloved Pub and Ameci’s in all this change, as well as the building where the Bookstore was previously located. The Commons has also been vanquished of their kitchen. 

Ameci’s is temporarily a makeshift extra space for Lobo’s to use. The Commons is going to be replaced by the Wine Business Learning Center within the next two years.

The addition of the Green Music Center caused a controversy just about as large as the one the Student Center produced. While the building itself is a gorgeous addition, many were distraught by the amount of money being spent on it.  But, much like the outcome of the preceding tiff, many have learned to love the new building.

It seems as if the only thing really getting in the way of adapting to these new changes, is time. With the start of a new school year, many new freshman and transfer students alike, have no idea or reason to feel bitter about what the campus used to look like or have available.

It is not something they took part in voting for, and if they made the decision to come here, then the tuition cost shouldn’t be a big issue. Students on campus will probably grow to love all these new additions and changes, but until they are all completely finished and redesigned, people may continue to nitpick.