A commitment to excellence: Responding to Tony Frank’s on-campus decision

Let me begin this editorial with an apology to my readers: This was not what I intended to write for my column this week. For this, I am sorry.

The column that I had spent the past week collecting information and working hard to so beautifully and rhetorically craft for my audience’s enjoyment and informational purposes was regarding the proposal to build an on-campus stadium.

Monday afternoon, shortly before my submission deadline of this column, Tony Frank sent an email informing the CSU community that he will indeed be advocating to move forward with building the proposed on-campus stadium.

My original column suddenly became moot. I do not wish to waste time beating a dead horse. The decision has been made and I can no longer have power in swaying such a big decision.

I have already expressed my opinions regarding the issue in various settings; including through public input forms, surveys and forums hosted by the Center for Public Deliberation. I believe with all my heart that my opinion on the matter was actually heard by the right people and was taken into serious consideration in this decision making process.

I greatly appreciate being given an opportunity to voice my opinion at all, and hope others realize what a gift it was that these opportunities were made available at all. I hope they took advantage of them as I tried to.

I cannot believe that, after such a process, this decision has been made lightly. I do believe that, by green-lighting this project, Tony Frank is doing what he truly believes to be the absolute best choice for our fine university.  As football coach Jim McElwain said, “It’s not just about football, but a commitment to excellence.”

I hope that as a community, we take those words to heart. A commitment to excellence should not only be applied to our athletics, but in many facets of our university:

A commitment to excellence in our academics.

In recent years, there have been hiring freezes, making departments devastatingly short staffed.
There have been suspensions in raises, causing instructors to be uncertain of their jobs.

There have been classes cut from the registrar, often making it impossible for students to graduate in four years as they have been promised.

A commitment to excellence in our facilities.

Last winter, the ceiling in my third floor classroom in Clark-C collapsed due to water damage. There were about three or four weeks of classes left to the semester. There was not a single empty room on campus to put us in, so we finished up the semester with the desks all being crammed up against the walls in order to avoid any potential health risks from the falling skies.

This semester I have another class in the third floor of Clark-C. The damaged ceiling tiles have still not been replaced. It has almost been a full year since they originally collapsed.

A commitment to excellence in our safety.

I heard from a friend of mine who is getting her degree in the visual arts that last fall the ceilings in the Visual Arts Building started leaking. The plumbing in the building ended up being shut down because of it.

As is common with many visual art mediums, the students within the building were using dangerous chemicals. According to my friend, leaks in the ceiling caused these chemicals to splash upon students.

One student had to run outside and throw himself into the snow to prevent chemical burns, as the water in the building had been shut down.

This could easily be an urban myth, I wouldn’t know because I did not witness this first hand. But I’ve been in the Visual Arts Building, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this were not the only way it is not up to code.

A commitment to excellence now, and not just to excellence in the future.

I truly do hope that the up and coming stadium promotes nothing but positive changes to the CSU community. I cannot imagine why anyone would support the project if that were not the ultimate goal.

Let us hope that the investments being made for the future of our fine university do not come at the cost of losing sight of what things we need in the present.

Anna Mitchell is a junior liberal arts major. Her columns appear Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.