Since the construction of the Newman Vertical Campus in 2001, Baruch College has been steadily, albeit slowly, improving the infrastructure of the entire campus. These improvements fall into two categories: the seen and unseen.
Of the more noticeable improvements, the 25th Street Plaza exemplifies projects of which students and faculty members alike are consciously aware. Other projects are done in the background and rarely get the appreciation or recognition that they deserve. The Plaza remains one of the most eye-catching infrastructural installments. The daily maintenance of the facilities is a great example of the types of projects that are run in the background yet are imperative for the school’s functionality.
Considering that the NVC is much more modern than its counterpart, the 23rd Street Building, it comes as no surprise that the 23rd Street Building is the main source of grievances regarding infrastructure. The wireless infrastructure, or lack thereof, is an area that needs major improvement. Students are constantly late to class because they believe that they can quickly pull up documents for class on their laptops, only to later realize that they need to go to the library and print it since there is hardly any wireless internet. This also forces students who are environmentally conscious to print excess paper.
The elevators are notorious for breaking down and leave many wondering when this problem will finally be fixed. If one took the stairs, he or she would see cracked paint and exposed building materials. Another aspect that seems to need perpetual repair is the building’s water fountains. All of these infrastructural concerns fall under the concern of Campus Operations, a department that appears to be underfunded.
This is not to say that the more modern building is perfect, as it too has issues that need to be addressed. In the NVC, a major eyesore is the never-ending graffiti that exists in the stairwells and bathrooms. Campus Operations should learn from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, which mandates that all graffiti is to be removed within 24 hours of it being reported. How many days and weeks does one need to see the same expletive or sticker before it starts to affect his or her quality of life or academic performance?
Lastly, the library is a wonderful resource for students to use to succeed in their academic pursuits. However, there are some aspects that can be fixed to better assist students. Implementing a station with more laptop kiosks will help students spend less time waiting in line and more time focused on their work.
Perhaps one day administration will create a sky bridge connecting the NVC to the library, which will create a seamless way of traveling back and forth between buildings. Ultimately, by investing in infrastructural projects, students will have an environment that is much more conducive to learning. This in turn will lead to greater success in life, which will help future generations of students by creating alumni who are more likely to donate and support Baruch’s mission.