Augustana is a great school with great students and highly educated professors, not to mention a booming athletic department.
However, ignoring the negative aspects of campus does not make them disappear. The main issue on Augustana’s campus is that much of it is outdated.
Consider first the lack of handicap accessibility in many of its buildings.
Solberg is one of example. There is no elevator. The laundry room requires someone who is confined to a wheelchair to go outside with their laundry and go around the building to get to the laundry room. This kind of situation doesn’t only exist in Solberg.
The lack of accessibility shows that when Augustana talks about diversity, the conversation doesn’t always include people who are differently abled.
Someone who finds stairs difficult or tires easily may one day find themselves on their way to the Madsen Center. The easiest ways to get into the building involve a steep set of stairs. That person would have to go around the building in order to avoid stairs. While this is not impossible, why does it have to be this way?
Augustana’s problems don’t stop with just the lack of accessibility of the buildings but also how Augustana deals with updating campus facilities.
When student housing demand exceeded current facilities at the beginning of the year, the administration converted the Global Education House into a theme house for track athletes, which took away a center where international students could meet.
The administration renovated the building as a reactionary move and did not take into consideration the effect this move would have on students who used to consider that house their home.
Most students will agree that one of the buildings most in need of updates is the Humanities Building. The school has made some moves in renovating, saying that all chairs would be replaced and the insides would see some updates such as Hamre Hall.
Some parts of the building have been updated but the classrooms still leave a lot to be desired and the look in the halls really age the building.
There may be a way to get out of this mess. The administration needs to listen and the students need to speak.
Augustana cultivates some of the best architects, economists, accountants and many other majors. Students receive a great education and have wonderful ideas, so when Augustana decides to update or renovate, it would be in the best interest of the school to take note and get advice from students. It is also up to students to bring their ideas forward, whether that is to the administration or to an ASA representative.
Augustana is a great school, it just needs the students to keep it that way.