Get out of the dorms and onto the grass

Amanda Siefken Columnist

Being a senior, and knowing that it is now April, I have really been trying to start enjoying my ‘lasts’ here at SDSU. Brookings has been a home to me for three years now, and I have loved almost every minute of it, but one thing that I have been thinking about with my lasts, is the lasts that I will see here in Brookings.

When I moved to Brookings almost three, almost four years ago now, one of the things that I loved most was seeing all of the people outside enjoying the weather and just having fun with friends. While I understand that this is not so easy in the winter when it is negative 40 degrees outside, during the fall and spring, being outside is a desire of many students here at State. 

Knowing that I am leaving soon, and will only have a few more opportunities to write for The Collegian, I wanted to kind of change how I looked at the campus around me. In my retrospective month left, the thing that came to mind the most was what I would change if I could here at school, or what has changed while I was here that maybe was not so positive.

Thinking back on my three years here, one of the things that changed the most was the number of people hanging out outside, exercising and just relaxing with friends. I tried to come up with a simple reason as to why I do not see this as much any more, and there isn’t one, in my opinion at least. There are many factors that lead to a change like this, and while the factors individually may seem great, the unexpected results are not so great in this case.

My freshman year I lived in Brown Hall. One of the, granted few, things that I liked about living in Brown Hall, was the location in relation to everything around it. When it was nice out, people were always sitting outside of the new Jackrabbit Village buildings, and playing catch in the small front greens in front of Brown itself. 

The campus was full of people that loved being able to be outside, while I don’t live on campus now, I can see day to day that this has changed. Even when I lived in Brown we only had access to one side of the building due to construction on the other side all year, so our ‘green space’ was already cut in half, but as more and more things happened, as well as more and more people started living in the same one block area of residence halls, the people outside dwindled.

My second year at SDSU I had the opportunity to live in Spencer Hall,which was a huge improvement from Brown Hall. This location was even better as far as being close to everything, and I was lucky enough to have a room with a great view of The Union and everything going on outside. This year was different though because it seemed that the people had all gone inside, and seeing people outside was rare now. People were not using the chairs outside of Mathews, people had stopped playing basketball on the half court outside of Pierson, the people had all just disappeared. Even though I was busy and did not think about this a lot, I was curious as to what was causing the sudden change. 

This year I am living off campus, but still see the people around when I am walking to classes and such. I am happy to say that this year I had found a reason that people had stopped deciding to be outside anymore, at least I thought I did. It occurred to me that while the construction was done on residence halls the space that used to be grass, and is now buildings, was being used before they built on it. 

We have more people, living in less space, and sadly, we have taken a great chunk of the green space away. With so many people, only having one half of a basketball court, in the middle of some of the most populated residence halls on campus is not enough. Having one small circle next to Rotunda kept green, is not big enough for even three sets of people to do anything in, and most of the time, only one group is there anyway, because no one wants to be “That Guy” that just comes in and takes part of their space. 

We are a quickly growing campus, and that is great, but we have to grow in more than numbers to be successful as a school. We have to help the students grow as people, and right now, it seems that the confinement and lack of space for them to take their mind off of their studies on a nice afternoon is dwindling fast. There are not benches outside of residence halls for people to even sit in the sun and talk, let alone areas for people to play catch, or soccer, or whatever they want to do.

Having to leave this campus is not something that I am looking forward to, but I can say that I hope me being here has made a difference in some way. Even if it this article, I hope that people can see that being outside is just as great as it used to be, and maybe you have to sit on the grass until the school will put benches in, but show the school that you want to be there. 

If we all hide in our rooms because there is nothing to do, the administration will think that we do not want to be out there anyway, so go out, throw a Frisbee to a friend and enjoy the sunshine. 

Spring is here and I hope so are the students that used to love being outside during it. The grass will turn green again and the school year will end, but before it does, don’t let the fact that we have the ability to go relax outside pass by.

Being in the sun is good for you, and maybe if we show the school that we want to be out there they will give the resources for the students after us to have the same great experiences here at SDSU that we have had. 

We beg for nice weather all winter, so we might as well enjoy it when we get it.

Amanda is a political science major and can be reached at 

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