Letter from the Editor: Paying for Beauty

Matthew Korb '14, Editor-in-Chief

The new Soccer complex and the Kaufman Greenhouse was completed October and December 2012 respectively. Expansions to the Rector Science Complex are projected to be finished Fall 2013 and the Durden Athletic Training Center in December 2013. The Kline Fitness Center’s expansion will be wrapped up over the summer in 2014.
In total, the five projects will cost in excess of $10 million dollars, a large portion of which will be drawn from donations and grants to the college.
While the $10 million is hardly more than a drop in the bucket for the college, it is still a good chunk of change to be invested in the college’s beautification. In the long run, it is the right move.
Dickinson College, as one of the oldest schools in the country, certainly has the right to show its age. Sans the ivy that has the magical property to bump up tuition by $50k, the college has all the aesthetics of any top-tier school. And that’s good. But that patina has extended to the inside as well, and the amenities that make our college experience tolerable are getting up in years.
Our gym is full of torn, beaten-down equipment. Our dorms are the same today as they were in the 1970s. Half of our playing fields are on the same level of most mid-grade high schools and our athletics facility is a boiler box. The campus is, while functional, certainly not the prettiest or most comfortable.
The recent beautification outlined in the Strategic Plan is designed to help us compete, at least aesthetically, with our competing schools. But the added benefit is that by improving our campus’ facilities, we are improving the health and happiness of our students. After all, a happy student is a student more capable of learning and, in the college’s case, donating to the school after they’ve graduated.
Next time you grumble about where your tuition dollars are going, remember what dorm you lived in during your first year or the last time you went to the gym. Remember those and realize that, while our school is a great place to be, it certainly should look the part.