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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Bond Sails Away

Last week Governor Mitt Romney delayed, and perhaps even squashed, the controversial issue of building dorms on campus by canceling the $371 million dollar bond package that would have funded the construction project, which was backed by UMass President William Bulger.

Bulger’s plan to use dorms to draw more international and out-of-state students away from Northeastern and Boston University is a clear indication that he and the trustees are deviating from their promise to the Dorchester community of an urban and commuter focused mission that has symbolized UMB since the 1960s.

In the current real estate market in and around Boston, a school that offered housing would be beneficial to any student. However, at a school where the average age of a student is twenty-seven, how many of these students would be interested in living in a college dorm? The administration should look at other, more creative ways of housing students who want the “full college experience,” rather than just turning straight away to dorms.

Attention should be paid to maintenance as well. While halting and ultimately canceling the bond was a petty display of trying to show who controls the university system, Romney’s “fix it first” policy, of looking at maintenance before jumping into new construction projects, is a good one.

Sure, let us all hail the new Campus Center, as it looks like a shiny new ship pulling into the harbor between the Wheatley and Science Buildings, but let’s not forget about the cracked tiles behind us in the plaza, the garage underneath our feet, and the elevators above us, some so slow that you could have received a several degrees by the time they arrive. These, too, are things that must be addressed.

Instead of telling Governor Romney to “go back to Utah,” maybe President Bulger should come back to Dorchester and take a look around UMass Boston, a UMass Boston that lies beyond the chancellor’s conference rooms, administration buildings, and Ryan Lounges.