Opinion: Franciscan University should develop the golf course

By Charles Jardine
Assistant Editor

After living in St. Francis Hall the first two years of my time here at Franciscan, I decided there needed to be change. My roommate and I decided to take a risk and move to Blessed Solanus Casey Hall.

Francis by no means was the nicest dorm, but it was the most central. At my walking pace, I could be anywhere on campus in about seven and a half minutes.

Now, I am forced to drive, ride on the bus or take a 20-minute hike just to get to class.

Not to mention that the community down in Casey Hall is widely secluded from the rest of campus. Only a couple of times do people come down there to hang out, but most of the time it is us going up to campus to see them.

That is the other issue. Casey Hall does not feel like it’s on campus.

It is because of these reasons that Franciscan University should develop the land behind Assisi Heights – it makes the most logistical and practical sense.

As the university continues to grow its community year in and year out, it is important to remember one of the biggest reasons it is so great: community.

The community at Franciscan is one of the best reasons to come here. The friendships formed between classmates, teammates and household members last forever.

However, this community is in jeopardy.

In the university’s quest to expand the school, instead of keeping it on the same hill, they keep making it farther and farther away.

Now, with the addition of Casey Hall, the university has shown that it will choose convenience or practicality.

The reason developing the golf course makes so much sense is that it is the closest space to the rest of the university. It would help centralize the university instead of spreading it out.

There is something to be said about the beauty of the golf course, since it is the most pleasant place to take a walk on campus. However, I believe that the development of that land would not interfere with the beauty of it.

If a dorm were to be built, it would likely be built on the flat plane between the parking lot and Physical Plant.

From my own experience, I have never walked across that plane for the beauty of it. Most people tend to stick to the trail and walk further back into the golf course than where the dorm would be built.

This means that we could have the best of both worlds. We would have a dorm and a great place to walk.

Not only that, but for many people the walk would be just outside their dorm instead of the 10-minute walk to the start of the golf course.

Building a new dorm would also stop another problem – buying hotels. While hotels are great and all, if the university wants to grow most efficiently, they should build a dorm.

Hotels are very nice and spacious, but they are not the best thing for cramming a bunch of college kids into.

The rooms down in Agnes, J. Serra and Casey hall are easily twice the size of my former room in Francis, not to mention the greater amount of common room space in them.

Utilizing the land by Assisi Heights ultimately will bring better community to campus, and I hope that in the near future the administration will consider this when looking for a new dorm.