Troublesome Timing

Cartoon by Julie Gunderson.

On Dec. 4 the Sojourner Truth Library (STL) began renovations of its main floor, which will be closed for 10 to 12 months in order to provide students with more study materials and provide an environment that will be better-suited for students to complete their work.

We at The New Paltz Oracle commend the school for further improving our campus, but wish the renovations to STL had begun after finals were over.

Throughout the entire process of preparing for the upcoming renovations, STL Dean Mark Colvson has been very transparent with the campus about the phases of the renovation project, but we wished the timing could have been different, although we understand the complex nature of construction contracts can make this infeasible.

When finals begin, students are overly stressed because of the increased studying and work that is needed in order to do well in their classes. Students get into routines throughout the semester and to change study areas just as the semester is coming to an end is a significant change that can be detrimental.

Going forward, when renovations such as this are planned, we hope they will begin at times that won’t have the greatest impact on students’ studying habits and abilities.  Having the renovations begin earlier in the semester would allow for a larger transition period for students to find new study habits.

The college has set up other arrangements to create enough space for students to do work in the interim, which is something that students should be thankful for to help them succeed.

Students who are just now complaining to administration and the STL staff have not been paying attention, so it is unfair to just now voice criticism of the renovation project. We get that in the heat of the moment people become upset, but Colvson informed students about the upcoming renovations in an email on Aug. 27.  He also hosted a Q&A to discuss the renovations with students.

The school has also set up a page on its website about the renovations and the library website has an update page and a blog where Colvson can answer questions about the renovations.

We hope going forward that students will be aware of the things the campus is doing to inform students on construction projects.

SUNY New Paltz ranking as a school has been growing every year and that is something all of the school’s students and faculty should be proud of. As the school has continued to grow, there has been an increase in the amount of construction that is taking place on campus.  We understand that students are becoming exacerbated with the amount of construction on campus and the necessary adjustments to one’s normal routine. However, one must look to the future of the college even if a student should graduate before being able to reap the benefits of completed construction projects.

Going forward, we encourage administration to continue to be transparent with the construction projects on campus. We also hope that students pay better attention to the updates from school, so they can voice their opinions before it is too late, so changes can be made that do not significantly inconvenience them.