87°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

NewMass Manifesto

As your breath draws in the sea air of a new semester, while you ponder your destiny over the harbor horizon, consider yourself new. You are among the first citizens of NewMass, an urban university bursting out of its walls with human resources, dwarfing in awe and intrigue its state-funded cousins in places like New York City and San Francisco. Build! Build! Build!

While we stand facing Old Campus, though, we should draw perspective from our status as heirs to old speculations concerning what UMass Boston might be. Our inheritance is vast. Obviously, fierce and fragile, dedicated and poetic individuals – and the individuals who taught and guided them – kept alive the fire that pressed and cast our new, vitreous Campus Center.

Soon, our nerve center will sprout a hundred-million-dollar limb reflecting the ocean and oceanic activity. And, somewhere, dorms. Maybe twenty-four hour life is just the thing to inspire some of us to finish more and more rigorous theses, not to mention finally wage the battle for decent food. Still, these new dividends on old dreams are striking. Now, at the same time as spreading imperialist wars and racist setbacks for more and more poor people, our cheapest-but-rising education can be not only frugal, gourmet, and mos lef, but also…stunning?

What can our new shells make clear?

Here, faculty are engaged in groundbreaking research, and most of them are directly accessible to undergraduates. We should support their tradition of service, as well as their struggle for fair pay. Under their instruction are students from around the world (assembled together, we are, of course, the most diverse public institution of higher learning in New England). As always at UMass, our classroom experiences can be extraordinary opportunities, resembling as they do global forums for our generation’s leaders. We ought to be able to put academic buildings to better use here. UMass students have always known that.

We’ve got a lot of reality represented in our classrooms and strolling around our library. If we can figure out how much we can learn from each other, and then learn it, we will have achieved a rare virtue, a virtue people like us need, since the geopolitical situation we are inheriting is anything but transparent.

At this point in our history, we should remind ourselves of the kind of academic community we’ve always craved – the kind of world we want to live in – and use our new resources to grow it. The strength of UMass Boston will continue to consist not in buildings made of glass, but in the array and virtue of its characters, delicate and strong ones who take heat and mold themselves into artworks of stunning integrity.

The substructure of our university has long been shaky. NewMass is putting down millions of dollars worth of new roots. Make sure your own are among them, in the spirit of your predecessors and those who bought into UMass Boston before its crystalline affects made it so obviously winsome.