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Classrooms in MSB need attention more than stairwells

Published: Sunday, February 9, 2014

Updated: Sunday, February 9, 2014 23:02

Last semester, the University of Connecticut renovated the staircases in the Math and Science Building (MSB). Meanwhile, the remainder of the building is still in terrible condition and is falling apart. UConn should have focused on fixing the more important parts of the building rather than making such a trivial fix.

Many classrooms in MSB have windows that lack screens. This presents a major safety hazard if the windows are open. Furthermore, it is often necessary to open the windows to cool off even in the middle of winter because the heat is always on full blast. There seems to be no way for it to be turned down. Installing a better heating system and putting screens in the windows would be far better fixes than renovating the staircases.

The lack of screens can also be distracting at times when the windows are open. In addition to keeping students safe, the screens serve to keep noise out. If there is a field hockey or lacrosse game going on nearby in the Sherman Family Sports Complex, students in MSB may be disturbed by the sounds from the public address announcer, the music playing over the loudspeaker or the noise of the game in general. The screens would at least keep out some of that noise and if it were cool enough to close the windows, almost all of the noise would be kept out.

Students should not be distracted during class by the national anthem playing before a field hockey game or the announcement of the starting lineups over the loudspeaker. These sounds distract the class from learning.

Additionally, many classrooms on the top floor have leaks coming from the ceiling. There are also many classrooms with loose ceiling tiles. These problems are highly distracting to the learning environment.

Students do not have class in the staircase–they have class in the classrooms. The purpose of a university is to educate students. Certainly, nobody would argue that having nice staircases is an integral part of one’s education. However, having classrooms which are in decent condition is very important. Sadly, the university has failed to renovate any of the classrooms in MSB, instead opting to focus on the staircases.

While MSB is in desperate need of renovation, UConn should not have made the staircases their primary focus. Considering the university is looking to hire additional faculty in the science and mathematics fields, having a building in a decent condition is very important. Many potential new professors might visit the campus, see the poor shape of the building and decide to accept jobs elsewhere. The condition makes it seem like UConn does not care about math or science. This is not to say they don’t care, but sometimes perception is just as important as reality. UConn needs to renovate the classrooms in MSB, not the staircases.  

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