With the announcement of the Mid Quad expansion and the launch of the Roberts Pavilion project, CMC is going to have to get used to seeing a lot of hard hats on campus over the next few years.
The Mid Quad Expansion: It looks as if the architect of Kravis and the Cube needed some work, so CMC decided to make Mid Quad a new hip, beautiful hangout, while adding some much-needed dorm rooms. Mid Quad might finally be a nice a place to sit outside and do homework or to hang out in the grass, rather than just a passage up to North Quad. But before the great new Mid Quad is unveiled, students will have to endure the construction. A large blemish will occupy CMC’s Mid Quad, as the bulky framework of a building obstructs the passage between Benson and Berger. Marks will also have no lounge for the ’14-’15 school year, as CMC plans to build more dorms above it. Noise, inconvenience, and unsightliness might make Benson, Berger, and Marks undesirable dorms for next year (some may say Benson and Marks are already pretty undesirable).
The Roberts Pavilion: I am not sure about the rest of the student body, but I will be thrilled to have one of the best athletic facilities of any liberal arts college in the country. The Roberts Pavilion will be just that; however, I can also say that I do not look forward to working out in a tent for the next two years. The new sports facility, although wonderful, will force athletes to practice and compete at Mudd and Scripps starting the spring semester of this year all the way until 2016. It’s hard to argue against the fact that our gym and exercise room need an upgrade, but the launch of the Roberts Pavilion means a hefty downgrade for the next two years. This downgrade is permanent for seniors and juniors, who will never enjoy the benefits of the completion of Roberts Pavilion.
So why am I okay, even happy, about the changes being made to CMC? It is because CMC is improving itself. Even though dealing with these developing projects will be a hassle in the coming years, the new dorm space and the new Pavilion will (hopefully) attract even more exceptional students to CMC.
I probably won’t get to enjoy the improvements CMC will make for very long, and juniors and seniors sadly will not get to enjoy them at all. But we are all invested as part of CMC, and for the rest of our lives all of us will be associated with the school. Therefore I, very selfishly, am happy about the growth and advancement of Claremont McKenna. The scenario is the same as the building of the Kravis Center, a long unattractive building process that ends with the stunning centerpiece of the CMC campus. Today we tolerate the process of renovations and construction in hopes of creating an even happier more accommodating campus for future students.
Many students have asked: why are the expansions necessary? My answer: CMC is growing, and there is no way around it. As CMC continues to miss on the number of beds on campus and the number of students enrolled, they have again elected (as in the building of Crown Hall) to add more beds and make the CMC community bigger. Concerns over making the CMC community larger arise. But as a proud CMC student, I try to look at the growth optimistically.
So far, I have heard questions such as:
Will a larger amount of students increase the schools tuition dependence? It is definitely possible that CMC could become more tuition dependent. In fact, at the ASCMC Senate meeting, dependence on high enrollment and tuition seemed to be a prime factor in the decision to build more dorms, rather than cut enrollment.
Will CMC let in less qualified applicants to meet enrollment? This is an impractical question as there is no set qualification for applicants here. Our student body has a set of students that have diverse skills, talents, and interests. The Office of Admission at CMC does an amazing job of picking CMC students, and with the amount of applicants applying to CMC growing every year there seems to be no shortage of qualified applicants.
Will CMC lose its close community feel? Not likely. The max enrollment from CMC’s charter is 1,400 students, which means that CMC will still be a small school. The type of student admitted to CMC is really what makes our community seem so close, because everybody is so outgoing and friendly. So what if another 40 kids are added to each grade? As long as they are as nice as the 1,264 kids already here, there is nothing to worry about.