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College is More Than Classes

By Bruce Crane

Published: May 17th, 2017

Many may have noticed items on campus in disrepair, with hours and services cut. There are 15 rooms for events at the Brooklyn College Student Center. The big night for events was Thursday with almost all rooms filled during most hours. This semester, there have been some meetings on Thursdays but some from only 1 to 3 events has been a waste of a resource.

The Bulldog Connection shows the amount of events. There was always a block party in front of the Student Center until recent years. The TV Room was open to watch the political debates, and host a Super Bowl Party and similar events when requested. Brooklyn College, until recent years, had big Halloween events too.

After I mentioned the lack of events to an administrator, I see a lot of events, but mainly during the day. McDonald’s has breakfast all hours to be attuned to the different schedules of the public. Students at night deserve events too. There was an article in Night Call years ago called Night Screw. After lobbying the registrar and others, services were opened later.

Getting back to club life, years ago former Psychology Club President Florette Cohen was asked about college life, and said that college is more than classes. She said instead of classes, students should get credit for volunteering or putting time in an organization. There is limited social life at commuter schools. The cafeteria is filled with many students sitting alone. Students may never know their classmates in a lecture hall or unless they’re in group activities in class or out of it. Study groups turn into support groups, as you may see some get together on the Quad and in the cafeteria. This may be one of the most social times of one’s life. After college, there may be less socialization done, as individuals are busy with jobs and family.

There are multiple theories about why there are less club events. The college budget was cut three percent this year and two percent last year, and President Gould, with her term ending, may have been a lame duck. Some think the EPI rules and scheduling has made it harder for clubs to have them and they could be penalized. Now, there are some classes during club hours.

Many clubs are about majors or ethnicity. As a reporter covering the clubs for years, I saw too many lack of diversified events with just one ethnic group. Sometimes at a club party, a new person there gets strange looks. Generally speaking, it should be emphasized that any student can go to any club’s events and the college should promote that to clubs and students not involved.  CLAS students are allowed in CLAS events, SGS for SGS events, and GSO for GSO events, but most welcome all students. Very few of them are private parties. I have heard of clubs or organizations that have been penalized for excluding.

I know the National Black Accountants’ Association has a non-black as an officer and Hillel had an Afro-American as president.

The amount of people using the Library Café will be off if there is no sign saying 24 hours. If students missed orientation they may not know about it. The Library Café cost the college little to keep open midnight since there is no staff there. Security has to be in the lobby anyway to let 24-hour workers pass. There are so many programs on the computers that it would be expensive for a student to have and some are not for sale. Students need a quiet computer room. The college advertised the 24-hour room. There has been talk of cutting the library hours, which could also result in GPAs going down. The gym’s hours were cut by seven hours a week and after complaints, two hours were restored. Sunday, the gym is open only three-and-a-half hours, which cannot help getting new memberships.

James Hall’s entrance now and soon Roosevelt Hall’s entrance will be closed and everyone must enter through the West Quad gate like a prison court yard, yet the college crime statistics of the college are low. It would be interesting to see if lateness goes up in those buildings and the WEB which could lower GPAs also.

I asked a few heads in student government and they did not know where the President’s Suggestion Box is. It is in Boylan Hall’s lobby and can be confused with the mail box next to it. There is a saying that “an opinion a day keeps every one away,” so here goes for suggestions. Yale and Pratt Colleges have a volleyball net on their Quad. BC could also have it during club hours. In the winter, there could be a hill for sledding. People only have one youth. With all the ailments from a sedentary life, standing computers should be considered or ones that give you options.

Commencement may have been moved to the Barclays Center due to the high overtime and other costs. Having it on the Quad with the banners, flowers, neo-Georgian architecture, and ivy in the past is a great memory of the college. I would think it would help alumni donations as well by having a priceless memory. There is a reason movie studios pay thousands of dollars a day to film in those surroundings.

A recent article changed the college name to “Broken College.” Safety and high traffic repairs should be high priorities. The elevator in James Hall has been out for many weeks and the Student Center’s elevator has been out for long periods. The busy men’s bathroom on the first floor of Whitehead Hall has had no door on the stool for almost a year. Users have to be seen as others pass by. The third-floor bathroom has had no seat. Let me know if you see anyone walking by with a toilet seat. About repairs, they never finish “anythin.”


Bruce Crane

Past Editor of On-Campus Magazine and past Campus Planning Committee Member

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One comment

  1. Hi Bruce,
    I just came across your article. Its funny I actually remember saying that–we were having a bake sale to raise money for the club.
    Funny thing is–I never really left, I’m a psychology Professor at CUNY College of Staten Staten Island.
    You could say that the Psychology club was in integral part in shaping my future (feel free to quote me–lol).

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