Letters: Clark is the wrong pipe dream, CSU needs commuter tunnels

Guest Author

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board. Letters to the Editor reflect the view of a member of the campus community and are submitted to the publication for approval.

Recently, The Collegian published another article about renovating Clark. To the author’s credit, it was significantly better writing than the standard “Clark is bad” opinion article that comes once a semester.

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Still, coverage of Clark is becoming a little trite. A quick search of The Collegian for “Clark Renovation” yields seven pages of articles that all say the same thing: “Clark is ugly, please renovate it. CSU doesn’t love me.” The topic is overdone and also misunderstood.

The Master Plan Committee established Clark as a future project almost a year ago. Although there is no definite date, its inclusion on the master plan indicates that CSU will renovate Clark. Now, we should refocus our efforts towards a critical project. I believe that before updating Clark, or anything else, CSU needs to build an underground network of commuter tunnels.

With tunnels, students could expect safer commutes in harsh weather, a stronger community, and a reduced risk of skin cancer (probably, right? I mean, tunnels don’t have the sun). Lies spread by Hollywood motivate tunnel dissenters. They want us to believe tunnels are dangerous, but they’re wrong. Tunnels are safe.

The film industry used to portray tunnels positively. In the 1980s, Hollywood taught us that in the tunnels, a ragtag team of misfit youth could discover friendships and treasure. Unfortunately, “The Goonies” was one of the last movies with tunnels Hollywood made before they betrayed tunnels.

Nowadays, movies like “Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets” teach children that tunnels house ancient snakes, like Basilisks, who murder muggle-born students in Hogwarts. However, nothing like this ever happens in tunnels.

Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, built tunnels on campus more than 45 years ago. The tunnels are useful for commuting in cold weather and make getting to class safer, because bikers and cars are safely above ground where they can hit each other instead of pedestrians. The safety benefits of tunnels have already been proven to work at Purdue and CSU deserves them too.

Now, we should refocus our efforts towards a critical project. I believe that before updating Clark, or anything else, CSU needs to build an underground network of commuter tunnels.

Furthermore, tunnels have the potential to build a stronger community. Imagine leaving the bars on a Thursday night, and instead of going home, you head to the tunnels to socialize with fellow Rams. With high utilization, restaurants and stores would open up in the tunnels, bringing in new jobs and experiences.

Dissenters claim tunnels are not feasible on campus. Tunnel dissenters cite the 1997 Spring Creek Flood as evidence, but they could not be more wrong. After the flood, CSU invested more than $5 million in flood mitigation measures. With that much money, I’m sure the problem is solved.

Tunnels are the transportation of the future. Currently, multiple cities are building tunnels to solve congestion problems. Elon Musk’s The Boring Company recently finished their test tunnels, which can accommodate pedestrians, cyclist, and even cars. The Company has tentative plans for more tunnels, and I believe that CSU should seize the opportunity to become a definite plan with The Boring Company.

It’s time to discard the false stories about tunnels Hollywood spread. If CSU builds a tunnel system under the campus, we won’t find an ancient snake, but friendships that last forever. There’s no reason to worry about flooding. The tunnels will be safe and fun. Instead of writing another article about renovating Clark, I urge you to write Dr. Tony Frank and ask him to call Elon Musk about building CSU a vast network of tunnels. Take a moment and picture what it will be like when we can all hang out in the tunnels. Clark’s appearance doesn’t seem that important anymore, does it?

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Respectfully,

Kevin Sullivan
Vice President of ASCSU

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