OPINION: 2025 plan makes 2015 difficult


K-State’s plan for a complete remodel of the campus by the year 2025 is really making campus difficult to navigate for current students.

Not only is the K-State Student Union undergoing a complete makeover, but several parts of campus have begun drastic alterations that make different parts of campus very difficult to access.

K-State 2025 was a proposal put forth by President Kirk Schulz, voted on by hundreds of supporters of the university, builds off our history and, after just 18 months, has been put in place to improve our campus for the future. With the past and the future in mind, there is little being done to ensure that the students currently paying thousands of dollars in tuition to attend such a prestigious university are not being deprived of the rights they earn every semester when they enroll in classes at K-State.

According to the K-State 2025 Visionary Plan’s website, “A university strategic plan is never done — it evolves as the university adapts to changing circumstances.”

By no means should K-State limit itself or stay in its current state forever, but so many projects are beginning at the same time, that in the duration of one trip to campus a student could encounter a number of complications in what would normally be an easy trip. Building construction, large temporary walls, sidewalks that cut through the grass and are barely wide enough for students to walk singly, and bays of computers in the library being temporarily taped off are some of the problems making everyday tasks difficult for current students.

Rooms are more scarce and cluttered with supplies that had to be moved from the sites of construction, parking lots have gone through periods of construction restricting already limited parking, and direct routes to class are often closed because sidewalks are blocked off. Services are undeniably restricted because of the work being done on campus.

An article by Andrew Martin of The New York Times, “Building a Showcase Campus, Using an IOU,” detailed the debt that a university that begins various projects for improvement takes on in the process. Harvard, one of the wealthiest colleges in the nation, for example, had $6 billion in debt beginning construction surges, and the ones paying for it are the students who attend the college, according to the article.

“The debate about indebtedness has focused on students and graduates who have borrowed tens of thousands of dollars and are struggling to keep up with their payments,” Martin said in his article.

K-State must evolve if it is to continue its rapid growth and success, and the students of 2025 deserve to come to a college that is up-to-date and modern. The students of today, however, deserve the same luxuries — access to necessary campus equipment, the capacity to be comfortable on their own campus and the ability to achieve the education that K-State ensures.

K-State’s mission statement shows its dedication to “foster excellent teaching, research and service that develop a highly skilled and educated citizenry necessary to advancing the well-being of Kansas, the nation and the international community.” The education being provided has the potential to be undermined by a poor experience.

The 2025 plan will be amazing for K-State. Now, there just needs to be a plan for 2015.