By Benjamin Solomon, Staff Writer
This is the last issue this paper for the academic year. The class of 2018 is graduating in just over two weeks. Let’s take this this opportunity to look back on campus events from the last four years.
For example, do you remember when the campus seemed like it was covered in fences? They’d go away and come back a little while later, these fences that were blocking off steam pipe renovation in the academic quad. You wouldn’t know it now.
Or how about the old campus store? The old store was about twice the size, containing the current space and the area now used as a game room. Now, instead of only being a space to buy things, there is also a place to hang out with friends and play some video games or billiards or ping pong.
And who can forget the two Patriots Super Bowl wins this campus class lived through in 2015 and 2017? The resulting “festivities” included a lot of yelling and milling around in the cold, but also unfortunately caused the knocking down of several light poles.
Another notable event is the time the school’s chancellor stepped down. Former chancellor Divina Grossman left the position in 2016, because of pressure from the UMass system president over the campus’s poor performance including mounting maintenance costs and low enrollment.
How about when Roberts Hall was inhabited? UMass Dartmouth announced plans to get new first year dorms (and get rid of the old ones), but Roberts Hall is already closed and unused. If you’re like me, you might remember some good (or bad) times in that building.
Remember when the first-year dorms didn’t have Wi-Fi and you (or your roommate) had to set up your own router? Now all of the dorms have routers and the Wi-Fi speeds across campus are at least three times faster. The primary Wi-Fi network used to be UMassD-A (which no longer exists), while eduroam was less commonly used.
Speaking of first-year dorms, Maple Ridge used to have a Mexican-style place to eat inside called Sono. In the 2014-15 school year, it was not very popular because it was only open 7pm to midnight and did not accept meal-swipes, only real money or snack money. It became hugely popular when the eatery started accepting meal-swipes the next year. Now, it’s closed.
Another big change was when the school renovated the area in front of the Writing and Reading Center in the Liberal Arts building. It used to be seating like every other balcony area in the academic buildings, but the addition of a couple of computers and a ton more seating made it a lot more popular to hang out.
In particular, the addition of more printers at different locations means that the library is no longer the sole place to print on campus. In fact, CITS implemented a new print system so that it is possible to print from one’s own computer by email instead of having to use one of the school’s desktops. It’s a lot simpler now to get your homework printed.
Another memorable event was the first time the wind turbine broke down and spewed oil over the cars parked nearby. Even now, the once alabaster tower of the machine is stained brown as a result. Apparently, this was the result of the degradation of a seal between two parts, which broke.
UMass Dartmouth isn’t perfect, but I am going to remember some of these events with a sense of nostalgia. Having to set up my own Wi-Fi sucked, and Sono wasn’t that great, but these are the quirks that made our experience different from what is to come.