Walking around campus, editor gets sad then hopeful

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

Taking time away from celebrating Jacob Ness’s bachelor party, I decided, for no particular reason, to take a walk around the campus of South Dakota State University. I ask myself “Can I really go anywhere from here?” What resources give me that option, and where is anywhere? I then think of the student-athletes on this campus. Does this apply to them? Then I thought, who is looking out for them? Along with athletics, the university itself is a picture of what SDSU is and what ideas are portrayed to the world. If the university treats the student-athlete just how the campus looks, then I feel bad for the men and the women who wear the yellow and the blue. Hopefully I can show you through my walk.

The journey starts out at the Couglhin Campanile. The building itself is kind of cool I guess, but why is it here on my campus? I mean all right, so it is the highest structure in all of South Dakota and you can take photos in it, but why else is it here? What difference does it make whether it is closed-like it is now-or open? There are better ways to get free ice cream that I can think of. Hey, didn’t the university pump a bunch of money into the large building, and now the Campanile needs more money? Give me a break.

Heading over to Woodbine Cottage, I see President Chicoine’s abode. I am reminded of the potential he has and how many faculty are against progress. Their desire to keep the status quo is dangerous for the students’ health. I can just imagine how many faculty members were against sending grades over the Internet rather than mailing them. I am putting my trust into Chicoine’s hand, and I hope I am not let down.

Heading to the Student Intermural Bulding (the “Barn”) I am awed by how old the bulding is and how other campuses would be outraged that such a structure is even on their campus. I mean, when was it built, during the Taft Administration? The building is prime real estate on the campus, and my hope is that when the new structures come in it can be destroyed and we can start anew.

After examing the Sexauer track, I have come to the conclusion that it was built in 1888 when the land-grant university was founded. Not only is the track a literal pile, but there is also construction around it. I think to myself, when is it going to be cleaned up, 2012?

Heading over to the Power Plant, I am stopped in my tracks and my mouth drops. Why in all that is holy is such an ugly bulding on any campus? Why don’t they just put a jail in the middle of our campus? It might look a little better.

Heading over to the northwest corner of the campus, besides the Northern Plains Biostress Lab, all these buildings were built a long, long time ago and are pretty ugly to look at.

Heading east, my walk has gotten pretty depressing and it grew a little more pathetic as I look at Couglin-Alumni Stadium. Many high school students from powerhouse states like Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Texas and Ohio would take one look at the stadium and would ponder: “Nice practice field, but where is your stadium that you play your football games at?” When they discover that we play at that field and we settle in that locker room at half-time, they will just close their eyes and shake their head in disapproval.

As I head out of the stadium, I look in all directions and my heart beats with joy. I scan to the left and I see a brand new baseball and softball field-which are getting improvements every day I make my “surprise inspections.” Further down the road, I see a new equestrian center, which is a joy to look at, and I realize that SDSU could be turning a corner. I also see the proposed north end locker room/huge multi-purpose athletic bulding and all I can say is “yes”-but not quite as good as Marv Albert (I am wearing boxers so don’t make any accusations).

It looks as though upgrades could come from this side of the campus or perhaps further north. Either way I am pretty excited, as I expect to be here for quite a long time. Perhaps I should have taken more than three credits each semester.

Heading to the right, I see the Wellness Center, and gosh, what a great investment for the student body. I know that both students and student-athletes will benefit from this multi-million dollar athletic complex. I think of the movie Field of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come.” So true!

I then peak at the renovated Student Center and notice how good Caldwell Hall looks. These are great additions to the campus. The Larson Complex and the new Shephard Hall remind me that the university is trying to make the image of SDSU better; it may just take some time.

I am reminded of a portait that George W. Bush spoke of when he made his acceptance speech for the 2004 presidency