Editorial: Memorial courtyard a wise addition

Staff Editorial

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Walking around campus should be a pleasant experience, and the university periodically renovates or installs new things in the various quads to enhance the Eastern environment.

The housing and dining office recently has had to reevaluate its timeline for building a memorial courtyard between Andrews and Lawson halls.

According to an article in Thursday’s edition of The Daily Eastern News, Mark Hudson, director of University Housing and Dining Services, said his office had the idea of installing benches to honor two employees who died but ended up getting enough money to do something bigger.

The plan was thought up in 2011; construction began in 2015, and because of some unforeseen delays, the new goal for completion of the courtyard is May 2016.

Even though this is a long-term project, it will be worth the wait and investment to turn a space with basically no purpose into a nice communal area.

Unfortunately, not all projects like this turn out to be the best ideas.

Certain additions such as the electronic billboards installed in 2012 have not done much to add to the aesthetics of campus.

Some may even find that they clutter the space.

Similarly, the Student Senate University Enhancement Committee put forth a plan in 2013 to place an 8-foot-tall panther statue on campus that would require about $75,000 in donations.

This project obviously has yet to come into fruition, as no panther statue stands anywhere on Eastern soil.

While it had similar intentions to beautify the campus as the courtyard project, the key difference is that the courtyard would not only be more visually appealing than a flat patch of grass, but it would also serve an actual function.

Placing ornaments or advertisements on campus is not using donations as wisely as they could be used.

On the other hand, a courtyard could be used as a space to socialize, study, eat lunch, meet up with a group, or just take a break in the middle of the day.

There are many places like this already on campus, such as the Alumni Courtyard across the street from Stevenson Hall and the Doudna steps.

And sometimes people are satisfied simply sitting underneath a tree or in a hammock.

However, creating one more enticing space by enhancing an already existing area could not hurt.

Everyone ends up finding their own little corner where they are comfortable hanging out between classes.

Having a courtyard near the South Quad residence halls will encourage students to sit outside and possibly get to know their neighbors from across the yard, and so long as enough donations come in to support it, this should be a great addition to the South Quad.

The daily editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board of The Daily Eastern News.