Syracuse University. Founded 1870. Motto: “Suos Cultores Scientia Coronat.” English translation: “We are always under construction.” Which explains why our school color is orange: same as the construction cones littering the campus.
Jeff Kelley, a senior in the college of Arts and Sciences, said, “Some people think I bought a pair of Timberlands to look cool during the winter. I’m really just trying to blend in with all the construction.”
Now granted, we’ve gotten some great things from the construction, including a spectacular Newhouse III, the quality of which is rivaled only by the new Life Science building. But this is my fourth year at Syracuse University and I sometimes find myself wondering what campus would look like without the random construction everywhere.
Here’s an example of what I mean when I say “random construction.”
The other day, as I was going to enjoy an undercooked lunch at food.com (Motto: “If it ain’t movin’, it’s ready to eat!”), I encountered an orange cone brigade in the form of a strange rectangle, centered between all three Newhouse buildings. Some of you may have seen this coalition of cones and roadblocks. And, as Syracuse students, it is presumably in your nature at this point to ignore such a thing. “Surely they will be doing some construction here soon,” one would think. Really? Construction in the middle of a walkway? I think not.
And yet, we say nothing. But there was a time when we would question such a strange sight, a time when buildings existed in completed form. I know, it’s a strange concept. Trying to remember a completed building is almost like trying to remember the last women’s basketball game you watched: you can’t do it.
We’re paying $50,000 a year. Is it too much to ask that the campus looks like the school presented on the brochure? Certainly not. It’s false advertising. If they really wanted to show prospective students what life was like in SU, here’s an idea of what the picture on the brochure would be: Snow is everywhere, but not pretty snow. That gray snow that builds up when car after car after car drives by, spraying dirt and gasoline everywhere. And there are tons of these cars backed up near College Place because, for some reason, College Place has been fenced off””-surely for a new construction project””-and bus drivers are getting out, yelling at cars. Cones are everywhere, almost like some strange army (Otto’s army?), and students are lying, frozen and unmoving on the ground because the cold has finally gotten to be too much for them. And sure, they should have simply gone inside to warm up. But they can’t.
Because all of the buildings are under construction.