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All about the small things

Submitted by Ricky Harris on November 2, 2011 – 11:56 amNo Comment

Our campus looks pretty good. At least that’s what I think when I walk around Cooper Fountain by Dickinson Hall or spend time relaxing outside at the beautiful campus housing complex.

Heading up the seemingly endless ramps of Stabler Hall to my seventh floor classes in the School of Mass Communication, however, gives me an entirely different perspective on how things look. When looking north, I am presented with the view of nasty, flat roofs and the sound of air conditioner units trampling over the calming sounds of the fountain and birds chirping in the trees. And it’d be unfitting to not mention the flea market-looking piles of furniture at the student center loading dock.

It is truly amazing how the height at which you view our campus can change your entire opinion on the scenery.

This may sound trivial to some people; however, I’ve always had an eye for the small things. The small things, to me at least, can make all the difference.

And it’s not just the view from above that irks me.

Have you ever noticed the concrete fence posts that protect campus from the bustling University Avenue? Probably not, but if you get a chance, take a look. They look blacker than they do the color of concrete. A simple spray with a pressure washer would make them look like new again. I know this because of the pressure washing that the Ottenheimer Library underwent last year. It was like taking 20 years off the age of the building. Cleaning a few fence posts isn’t much compared to cleaning an entire multi-level building.

A few months ago I walked across University Avenue to grab a pizza. As I wandered past the construction site for the new nanotechnology building, I looked inside the windows of a small, one-story building. Instead of seeing functional classrooms, I only saw piles upon piles of junk. And north of that building were more piles of junk laying outside. It looked to me like the building hadn’t been touched in a few decades. Seeing this made me wonder if UALR follows the philosophy of “if you can’t see it, it isn’t really there.”

The campus is growing and the new buildings look amazing, but someone needs to get their priorities in line and focus on cleaning up what we already have. Building new facilities and letting the others rot isn’t a good strategy. If we want to have a campus that we all are proud to call our own, every inch of it needs to be taken care of, not just the most visited parts.

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