The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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Editorial: Homecoming events lack inclusion of study body

Over the last week, we’ve experienced many inconveniences and disappointments related to this year’s Homecoming events. Typically, Homecoming Weekend is just difficult for students due to lack of parking. However, this year’s number and grandeur of events is more the issue, affecting us before the weekend even begins.

Being forced to walk around the perimeter of the quad due to the large tent construction to make our way to places on campus is becoming a huge inconvenience in our study schedules. Because professors often finish class a few minutes after the official end, we’re late making our way to our next classes, sometimes only going from Coleman Hall to Vaughn Literature Building. While this type of inconvenience is acceptable for a day or two, we struggle with the expectation to be on time while also following rules that can make it impossible to do so.

Other concerns we’ve had are the noise pollution and access to the library during the events. During this construction process, we’ve had difficulty focusing in classes in Coleman Hall and Vaughn Literature Building due to the volume of the tent construction. The main floor of the Bertrand Library is also in direct line of the noise, making it difficult for us to work on papers and projects on the main floor computers and diminishing our productivity. We’re very concerned that over the weekend, we’ll have a hard time accessing the library. With only one main entrance that is located next to the tent on the quad, we’re worried that the guests and security for the events will provide difficulty not only with the noise control, but also with navigating through the crowds. As students, our main focus should be on education, and shouldn’t be compromised by Homecoming Weekend events. Less seriously, many students take advantage of fair-weather fall days by playing Frisbee or football on the engineering or main academic quads, something that won’t be possible this weekend, one of our last few with nice weather.

We don’t think that students would be as upset about the aforementioned inconveniences if they were actually allowed to take part in more of the Homecoming festivities. As for the exclusivity of the events, we are both grateful and disappointed by their inclusion and exclusion of students. We appreciate that a lottery system for tickets was provided for the Norah Jones concert; it’s important to us that all students are given an opportunity to attend. However, the other exclusive events did not provide students with the same opportunities. Tonight’s reception and dinner held in the Fieldhouse did not give any opportunity for students to attend, learn about alumni and their experiences and network. These events are important in helping our current students to cultivate relationships with our alumni and a lottery system for this event in addition to the one for the Norah Jones concert would have been appreciated. An application might have even been another option; students could be selected to attend based on their responses to a questionnaire, for example, in which they could express their motives for wanting to go.

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Not being allowed near the tent or to attend some of the events this weekend is disappointing and is doing a disservice to the students by excluding them from an important event in the University’s history. With the largest campaign ever at this school, students should feel the excitement and enthusiasm needed to accomplish something so large.

President John Bravman stated in his email sent to all students on Oct. 17, the “WE DO” theme of the campaign is meant to “[reflect] the spirit of action and achievement that so defines the students, alumni and community of Bucknell.” Shouldn’t students be able to share in the celebration of their actions and achievements alongside alumni and the rest of our community without compromising their schoolwork and classtime?

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  • M

    mem076Oct 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    I think you should spend more time studying than writing editorials with ludicrous arguments. Don’t know where to begin, so I won’t, but I hope you’re able to get into the library this weekend!!!

    Reply
  • M

    M. S.Oct 26, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Homecoming is something I (and many fellow alumni) have been looking forward to since I graduated. It’s that one magical time of the year when I get to pretend like I’m still in college – reunite with old friends who, baring facebook and linkedin updates, I haven’t seen in person for quite some time. It’s absolutely terrific.

    I can understand how students can be a bit peeved that the campus must yield to forces under the control of others – I am a recent grad and can recollect quite vividly how homecoming was not always my favorite weekend. But I was always excited to see my friends who had graduated, and I was mindful that one day I would be in their shoes.

    It is somewhat unsettling that you feel a large tent in the middle of the quad disrupts your day so much. Are there not paths around the perimeter of the quad? How late are you in getting from one class to another? I actually know that the distance of the main diagonal going across the quad is .07 miles. Going around the quad is .095 miles. That can’t take you a minute or more out of your way! Say you’re going from Coleman to Marts through the brick path, like you described in your article. That distance is .039 miles. Going around it .1 miles. That can’t be more than three minutes. And certainly the professors and staff at Bucknell are aware of this large structure right? I’m certain if one were to explain “I had to run around the tent, sorry professor!” they would understand. And if not, the person is probably crazy, because last time I checked Bucknell was in Lewisburg, PA, not New York City, and a few minutes of tardiness in the countryside never killed anyone.

    In case you haven’t noticed, Bucknell has quite a sprawling campus, and there are many other fields to play game on. Anywhere near the KLARC, the unused athletic fields near the mods, the Grove, in between Vedder and Smith halls, Hufnagle Park, and so on.

    The noise pollution can certainly be another concern. But is it really? Does anyone actually working on anything serious choose to be on the first floor, near the food area, near all the talking students as they walk in and out, the tech desk, etc.? Except for examination periods at the end of each semester, no way. Students and Staff looking for quiet spaces have LL1, LL2, and floors two and three. If you are looking for creative areas the video editing room is almost always open… small study rooms? Those are present on the second and lower floors. Computer labs? Check the lower level one. Desks? Scattered with cubicles around the entire library.
    If you are seriously complaining about the noise you must be listening to your iPod way above the safe limit to not notice the noise that already percolates around the first floor.

    The exclusivity of alumni events is one that can be split both ways. A dinner for alumni only makes sense for the reasons I mentioned at the very beginning of my response. Alumni aren’t going to want to be pestered by students during dinner, for example, after a long trip to reunited with old classmates.
    There are plenty of other opportunities to network with alumni the rest of the year: career fairs, employer expos, and so on. Depending on your major and campus involvement, you could see alumni every other weekend.
    Like you said, there are some events open to both students and alumni. And if you feel so strongly, maybe the Bucknellian could contact the Homecoming Weekend organizers and create its own event open to everyone to accomplish whatever you feel is necessary to accomplish. But you must realize that closed or selective events are a fact of life. And you must be wise enough to realize that some disruptions are unavoidable. Would it make sense to stick the alumni tent in the farms behind the uphill parking lots? Not really. What about in front of the KLARC? I suspect for continuity purposes (we all graduated in the academic quad), probably not. There’s no place else to put it.
    And remember – some alumni give very, very generously. While it’s an entirely separate topic that I feel strongly about, even though many people fight Student Callers tooth and nail to give nothing over the minimum, shouldn’t those that give generously (and anyone that gives at all after paying such high tuition!) be rewarded with a once a year event that’s quite glamorous?

    Some events must be closed for alumni to just be alumni. Not to pontificate, but as the saying goes, you don’t know how good you’ve had it until you’ve lost it. We work all day, or search for work, and deal with people we probably don’t like that much. It’s nice for many to have one pristine weekend where we can forget about all of that and just enjoy and revel and reconnect.

    In general people love to complain. I understand that and I’m far from being innocent. But I feel a negative article like this is just fodder.

    Reply