University should rethink plans

Campus Times
September 22, 2000

by Brice Nixon
Editor in Chief

Yes, it is that time again, the start of another school year at the University of La Verne. The quaint college with the scenic campus and desirable small-school qualities, located in Small Town, U.S.A., otherwise known as La Verne, Calif.

And ULV proudly showcases its low teacher-student ratio along with all the other things that make it a major player in the higher education game. At least that is what some would have us believe.

But, as I heard one student put it, there always seem to be the same thorns in our sides. And the main problem seems to be that the University is outgrowing itself. ULV's current students, faculty and staff should not be compromised or overlooked. And maybe they have been kept in mind when decisions have been made. But I doubt anyone would argue the fact that things are far from perfect on this campus.

Now, don't get me wrong. My affinity for this institution is well documented [April 14, 2000, Campus Times] There are countless aspects of this University that make it a great place to become the enlightened individuals we all strive to be. And at the same time there is ample opportunity to do all the things that make the college experience what it is meant to be; that is, there is time to test the waters of new-found freedom and discover the horrible reality of waking up after a long night/morning of partying.

This University should strive to be a top institution of higher learning. It should continue to make improvements and grow. It is great to see the decision-makers not clinging to the past. Though traditions are important, they need constant reexamination.

But at the same time, the University's administration cannot get ahead of itself, becoming so enveloped with visions of the future that it disregards the present.

It is great to see that La Verne has attracted more students every year since I first came here in the fall of 1998. That seems to be one of ULV's main goals, and it should be. But at the same time, the necessary actions needed to accommodate the increase in students have not been taken.

That much is made obvious by the fact that we have on-campus housing off campus and trailers for classrooms. And yes, I know they are temporary. But they are not the only inconvenience to this community.

Parking seems to be an ever-present and perpetually-worsening problem on this campus. The influx of students the past couple years has made the problem worse. And if this recent trend continues, changing dirt to pavement will not solve the problem.

Now, I realize that, unlike students at many other colleges, we do not have to pay for parking permits. But we chose to come to ULV because it is not a school with 20,000 students. The expectation is that we are more than just a number.

The construction of the new Oaks Residence Hall building is another example of a double-edged sword. While it is great that one of the ULV's greatest needs is being addressed, the need for more housing, the fact it is still under construction is also a big inconvenience and annoyance to students. Still, it is refreshing to know students with on-campus housing will soon live on campus, instead of San Dimas' Red Roof Inn.

The increased student population has also affected the availability of classes and class size. And maybe that is just something that students have to accept. But the University also needs to be sure it is living up to its mission statement and not compromising its educational integrity.

So the simple solution to all these problems is for the University to spend more money. I doubt ULV is strapped financially. So what is stopping it from spending money on things that will significantly improve the daily experience of those in the La Verne community? ULV definitely needs to expand, because it has outgrown its current space. And at the same time it will improve the University's selling power, which no doubt is a major concern.

The new Oaks building is a good sign and an example of the type of projects the University needs to undertake. The new parking lot near the Oaks, however, is an example of questionable decision-making. It is good to know that the new lots will be done soon, but that seems like something that should be done during summer or January. Doing it now has eliminated parking spaces at a time when parking spots are at a premium.

At The Spot, Keith Friend seems to have good ideas about renovations and improvements. But here's hoping there is no revisiting of the situation from spring '99, when continued construction delays left students without one of their favorite Spots.

Brice Nixon, a junior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at