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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Editorial: A Parting Shot

If you’re not too busy with finals, and the inevitable end-of-semester apathy has not made you callous beyond caring, you should take a minute to stop and look around. UMass Boston is changing.

The Campus Center is coming up ahead of schedule like a mountain in the east, forming with the Science and Clarke buildings a large “Huru”-like welcome toward the ocean – arms extended, with the tennis courts and track between them.

The university seems to be going ahead with student housing despite some opposition. One proposed spot would put the dorms across the road from the UMB track, next to the castle-like Pump Station. The Pump Station for eighty years dumped raw sewage on the outgoing tide into Boston Harbor, soon it may be the UMB Environmental Science and Technology Park (BEST Park).

The roughly eight acres of UMB land behind the Pump House extending toward the water (UMB land only if Boston Water and Sewer can find another place to dry catch-basin materials) will be the “park” aspect of the BEST Park, the park land meeting the water at the expanding Metropolitan District Commission Harbor Walk.

Expansion of the Harbor Walk will entirely pave the perimeter of Columbia Point, around the JFK Library and the Massachusetts State Archives, making it a leisurely, accessible attraction to all in the surrounding South Boston/Savin Hill communities.

When the Campus Center comes in, the face of UMB will change. Morrissey Boulevard will become the route out, the backdoor of the campus. The extension of the Harbor Walk and the building of the BEST Park will turn the campus around to Mt. Vernon St, the eight acres of obscure, overgrown land behind the Pump Station will become UMB’s front lawn to all. Thousands, perhaps millions of people will jog and bicycle down the Walk, tan and picnic in the grass, and perhaps become lured by the Campus Center’s promised attractions.

Dorms will place 2,000 students on the point. Unfortunately, with UMB losing many of its faculty to early-retirement and layoffs due to budget cuts, more part-time professors will teach them.

So take a look around. For many of us, our time here is up. The seniors leaving can attest, UMB looks a lot different than it did when they were freshmen.

Your struggle to get through school while most likely holding down a job cannot be commended highly enough. You are in an exceptional class. Congratulations, you deserve it.

As to what comes, be wary, freshmen. Columbia Point has an interesting history, and UMB has been a big part of it. The university has played a large role in the lives of the residents of the point, the Boston community, and the students. Make sure it stays true to its mission. UMB is unique, and the people make it that way: the professors, the staff, the students.

Some great leaders will be made in this place. Let’s hope UMB always practices what it preaches, and teaches by example.