Thoughts on all the renovations

Adam Williams, Contributing writer

If you have been anywhere near Mercyhurst recently, you may have noticed a bit of construction going on.

That’s because Mercyhurst’s campus has been undergoing a flurry of construction and renovation since President Michael T. Victor’s appointment.

The Grotto Commons, the Mercyhurst Ice Center, the computer labs — each of these areas has so far received a modern touch, with other locations slated for similar treatment in the future.

These include the Student Union and the Hammermill Library, which is rumored to be expecting a makeover soon.

I have not yet, of course, mentioned the most controversial improvement being made to the campus: Ryan Hall.

Ryan Hall has become a large point of contention and has become the symbol of the stricter housing changes emphasizing living on campus all four years coming with the 2018-2019 school year.

Ryan Hall is a great improvement from a housing viewpoint.

The new four-person rooms come with a greater number of amenities than Warde Hall, and it brings with it new additions for the whole campus, including a new cafeteria.

However, through the construction of Ryan Hall, it is becoming clear why all of these improvements are taking place.

I believe the new housing policies emphasizing living on campus all four years were not created because of Ryan Hall’s construction; rather Ryan Hall was built to support these new housing policies.

In fact, I believe every renovation so far has been for the purposes of attempting to justify Mercyhurst’s move to keep students on campus.

By improving many of the smaller outdated buildings, or by adding new features to out-dated entities, Mercyhurst can give reason for the extra expenses that come with having to stay on campus.

This is not to say that these renovations and improvements are inherently negative.

I agree with the concept of improving the campus to incentivize remaining on-campus for the students, but that is not exactly the case here.

The issue is that these improvements are not incentivization, which implies the students are still given a choice.

Instead, the improvements are attempts at justifying these new housing policies.

And sure, any attempt at justification is better than receiving nothing, and the improvements are far from entirely negative.

And I am by no means saying Mercyhurst should not strive to improve its campus; in fact, I am all for the improvements being made.

I am simply wary of the reason behind them and do not think that improvements to the main campus can justify limiting freedom of choice in housing.