Editorial: Building upgrades would improve learning environment on campus
Published: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 5, 2013 01:09
Working meticulously in a chamber filled with dusty vials, rusty fume hoods and windows obscured by heavy machinery, an undergraduate chemistry student tries to carefully measure the mass of a chemical needed for his research. 1.85 grams of chemical X is required for his reaction to work.
The numbers on the weighing scale gradually increase, as he carefully pours the chemical onto the scale. 1.60 grams…. 1.78 grams…. 1.84 grams…DIN…DIN…. DIN…..DIN…2.00 grams. Swearing profusely, he tries again, but the constant dripping of water from the ceiling onto the bucket placed in the middle of the room, continues to be a distraction.
This is not a lab in some third-world country, it’s actually a lab stationed right here at UConn.
The Math Science Building is one of the most outdated buildings on campus. Ironically, it houses three important disciplines – physics, material science and mathematics – all of which conduct a majority of their research in the building’s near-dilapidated facilities.
Although the building is currently receiving a mandatory cosmetic makeover, due to claims that bricks have been falling off the building and endangering nearby pedestrians, the internal conditions of the facility continue to deteriorate.
Especially now that UConn is rising in the ranks of academia, its teaching and researching facilities need to be updated.
This year, the university hired roughly 165 new professors and it continues “to strategically expand its faculty in key research and teaching areas and boost the number of classes offered, UConn is aiming to recruit 290 new tenure-track faculty members under the hiring program” according to the UConn today.
In the world of academia, specifically at a research university such as UConn, the concept of “publish or perish” is held close at heart to many professors. Almost all of the new professors hired by the university will need to have their own laboratories to conduct their research, and to help foster a growing and strong STEM environment. The first step, however, is to update UConn’s buildings and provide state-of-the-art facilities to its students and staff, starting with the Math Science Building.