Albert Einstein famously said, “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results,” but here it goes again; the college needs to spend funds more wisely.
The ‘glass trees’ by the water feature on Compass Hill were built to “provide an external space for students to gather while overlooking the water feature and Poplar covered hillside,” according to vice president of external affairs Joe Moore.
However, while it may seem like a ‘nice idea’, it isn’t worth the estimated $210,000 plus the potential cost of the proposed seating. Throwing more and more money into the water feature and other arbitrary aesthetic features doesn’t help the college in its goal of academic success.
Constructing buildings that will aid learning are essential, turning the college into a tourist trap isn’t.
The structures are made out of laminated glass that filters UV rays on sunny days, and provides protection from a light rain to those underneath, according to Moore, who began the comparison to giant umbrellas. Three giant glass umbrellas that cost $210,000.
While the college may have the money in the budget, it doesn’t justify the expenditure purely for that reason.
It isn’t to say that creating cover for students to gather outside is a bad idea, but there are much more cost effective routes that could be taken that would accomplish those same goals while costing a fraction of that amount.
Large actual umbrellas could be put in place, like many people have on patios, to provide cover and protection from nature.
An alternative that could be more cost effective would be to partner art, design, architecture and other programs together to create a lasting experience to represent the college and time period better than an outsider could do and could provide more ownership of the college by the student body, increasing participation on campus for years to come.
As has been shown through its reputation, graduates of the College of DuPage move on to great things, and that doesn’t mean they aren’t great now. Being able to display and show case the works of students, while infusing them into the design process of the college for many years to come, is an experience that would be beneficial and influential on that student’s beginning.
The gripe isn’t that money is being spent, the complaints are how, and that is a problem that isn’t being addressed.