Monday, October 16, 2006

Colleges' Reconstruction in East & West

The reconstruction of our campus has just become the talk-of-school.People are excited, but at the same time, concerned. People are excited about the changes, yet concerned about the problems that have been brought up, for instance, the construction noise, the effect on the school's environment, the constant come and go of strangers on the campus. Is the school taking measures necessary to ensure the best outcome? And what’s the students’ view on this? Earlier this month, one of our journalists had a discussion with a foreign student at BFSU on this particular issue.

Touch: Have you noticed the trees trunks here in the campus?
Foreign Student: Yeah, people pointed it out to me.
Touch: A line of trees have been cut. What do you think about it?
FS: Well, I never got to see them when they were there. I know some people are mad because the trees were very old. Is it possible to move them?
Touch: Of course, they could have just dig a deep hole and pull the trees up.
FS: Hmm...
Touch: But of course, the expense maybe high.
FS: I will tell you about the college I went to. It was built in the 1960's, in the middle of a forest. It's kind of strange, it's like a campground or something. But in the past couple years, the school has expanded, with many more students, and so they're building lots of new buildings. And cutting down lots of big redwood trees. Most of the students are really pissed about it. And it definitely changes the feel of the place.
Touch: So did anyone protest?
FS: Yes, there are protests. But not that much, the organized protests are all against the war : )
Touch: And what's the school's explanation?
FS: They say they need to accommodate the new students, and I guess that's true because the more people go to college the better.
Touch: Back in my high school, when it expanded, the trees were pulled up, with the roots and replanted in another place.
FS: Wow, that's cool. I didn't know you could do that.
Touch: Cutting them off is lot easier of course. And by selling these, the school can get profit.
FS: Oh really, I didn't think about that part. But in my opinion, they really should build new colleges in other towns rather than simply expand the old campus or do the reconstruction; they try to save money by not doing this. They keep building new prisons in California, but not
new colleges.
Touch: What?
FS: Yes, in the past years they have built new prisons, but only one new campus of the university of California system (UCLA, Berkeley, etc)
Touch: Why's that?
FS: 1. prisons are more profitable, and can be contracted out to private companies, so both the state and company makes money
FS: 2. the prison guards' union is the strongest lobbying group in the state (effecting govt. decisions)
Touch: I see, So what do you think is the best way for our school to
expand?
FS: Someone in my department said it's not an issue of getting new students, but they have more money now and want to make better facilities. Do you know if that's true? Well, it seems like one way to go would be to knock down these bad facilities and replace them, rather than replace the nicest part, the trees : ) I have been to Peking University, and what makes the campus so nice is all the open space and the plants.

Despite all the controversy it causes, the reconstruction work is already underway. In the meanwhile, we could only hope the school would take effective measures to rebuild a beautiful environment for the students.

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