Over the last week, we’ve experienced many inconveniences and disappointments related to this year’s Homecoming events. Typically, Homecoming Weekend is just difficult for students due to lack of parking. However, this year’s number and grandeur of events is more the issue, affecting us before the weekend even begins.
Being forced to walk around the perimeter of the quad due to the large tent construction to make our way to places on campus is becoming a huge inconvenience in our study schedules. Because professors often finish class a few minutes after the official end, we’re late making our way to our next classes, sometimes only going from Coleman Hall to Vaughn Literature Building. While this type of inconvenience is acceptable for a day or two, we struggle with the expectation to be on time while also following rules that can make it impossible to do so.
Other concerns we’ve had are the noise pollution and access to the library during the events. During this construction process, we’ve had difficulty focusing in classes in Coleman Hall and Vaughn Literature Building due to the volume of the tent construction. The main floor of the Bertrand Library is also in direct line of the noise, making it difficult for us to work on papers and projects on the main floor computers and diminishing our productivity. We’re very concerned that over the weekend, we’ll have a hard time accessing the library. With only one main entrance that is located next to the tent on the quad, we’re worried that the guests and security for the events will provide difficulty not only with the noise control, but also with navigating through the crowds. As students, our main focus should be on education, and shouldn’t be compromised by Homecoming Weekend events. Less seriously, many students take advantage of fair-weather fall days by playing Frisbee or football on the engineering or main academic quads, something that won’t be possible this weekend, one of our last few with nice weather.
We don’t think that students would be as upset about the aforementioned inconveniences if they were actually allowed to take part in more of the Homecoming festivities. As for the exclusivity of the events, we are both grateful and disappointed by their inclusion and exclusion of students. We appreciate that a lottery system for tickets was provided for the Norah Jones concert; it’s important to us that all students are given an opportunity to attend. However, the other exclusive events did not provide students with the same opportunities. Tonight’s reception and dinner held in the Fieldhouse did not give any opportunity for students to attend, learn about alumni and their experiences and network. These events are important in helping our current students to cultivate relationships with our alumni and a lottery system for this event in addition to the one for the Norah Jones concert would have been appreciated. An application might have even been another option; students could be selected to attend based on their responses to a questionnaire, for example, in which they could express their motives for wanting to go.
Not being allowed near the tent or to attend some of the events this weekend is disappointing and is doing a disservice to the students by excluding them from an important event in the University’s history. With the largest campaign ever at this school, students should feel the excitement and enthusiasm needed to accomplish something so large.
President John Bravman stated in his email sent to all students on Oct. 17, the “WE DO” theme of the campaign is meant to “[reflect] the spirit of action and achievement that so defines the students, alumni and community of Bucknell.” Shouldn’t students be able to share in the celebration of their actions and achievements alongside alumni and the rest of our community without compromising their schoolwork and classtime?