72°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

There Goes The Mission

Having spent this entire academic year at UMass-Boston, I’ve grown accustom to the university’s urban mission. With students of various ages and nationalities, I’ve been able to interact with diverse groups of people that simply wouldn’t have been possible elsewhere. As I prepare to leave the university following this semester, I worry much of the urban mission UMass-Boston was founded upon is about to collapse.

I’m a 17 year old non-degree student — perhaps the youngest on campus — in the university’s dual enrollment program. Put bluntly, I’m a high school student taking all of my senior year courses at UMass-Boston. Never before in my four year higher secondary education have I felt so much a part of something so special and so unique.

My professors have each been superb. My fellow classmates bask in each other’s individuality. We each bring our own stories. We travel at great lengths to our campus. Many of us find time to hold occupations outside of school. A great portion of us are in our middle ages. What we bring to our school can be found in no other Boston area institution; and that’s all about to change.

UMass-Boston is about to lose its urban mission with the inception of residential housing. Dorms will house people on campus and deteriorate from the commuter notion that makes the university school so different from any other. The average student age will drop. The university will lose much of its adult appeal. In the not too distant future, UMass-Boston will be no different from both Northeastern and Boston University — just some large city school with a growing tuition.

During the time of a budget crisis, wouldn’t it be more rational to preserve rather than to expand? As the fear of teachers leaving and class sizes increasing looms from above, ground will soon be broken on the high-rise residential housing. The risk of an entire university’s image is at stake.

Jarid Maged