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Purdue Northwest Pioneer

Column: Equality for unequal campuses

Jacob Yothment, Editor-in-Chief (print)

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With unification, there has been an underlying mindset that all things should be equal between the two campuses. However, since there are approximately three times as many on-campus students at the Hammond campus than there are at the Westville campus, things are quickly becoming unfair to Hammond campus students.

Not counting dual-credit students, there are about 2,500 Westville campus students compared to the approximate 8,200 at the Hammond campus. Although all PNW students are welcome to apply to join any student organization, the majority of students involved in student organizations are from the Hammond campus as well. To round up generously for the Westville side, about 25 percent of PNW students are from the Westville campus, so by that logic, 25 percent of all events should happen there due to convenience.

Students received an email on Feb. 28 stating that they do not have to attend any classes prior to 2 p.m. so that they can attend Founder’s Day festivities on March 6 at the DSSAC on the Westville campus. Given that the event starts at 9 a.m., and it takes about 45 minutes to drive whether by car or shuttle from the Hammond campus to the Westville campus, it seems pretty obvious that more students will use the opportunity to catch up on sleep or homework rather than attend the event. If Founder’s Day took place on the Hammond campus, I doubt any students would wake up early for that either, but at least students who were already on campus might stop by.

Founder’s Day is not the only event that is unnecessarily taking place at the Westville campus. On April 7, the annual Student Recognition Banquet will take place in the DSSAC. The banquet is meant to be a celebration of all student organizations for the hard work they put in during the academic year. Prior to unification, PUC would host the event at Wicker Park, not on campus. PNC did not have an event like this. As I have attended the event for the last four years in a row, I can speak based off experience that many students look forward to the event because along with delicious banquet food, we also got the opportunity to talk about the great things our organizations have accomplished. Now, the recognition banquet will be on campus and 45 minutes away from most students who will be attending. Along with that, the last bus leaves Westville at 6:15 p.m. and since the event starts at 5:30 p.m., students will have to drive themselves there. For every major event at either university, we need to make sure that the shuttle service has availability no matter how late the event lasts.

As for why the university is hosting so many events at the Westville campus despite it being inconvenient for the majority of students and faculty members, I believe there are two major reasons. The first is the most obvious; the DSSAC cost $33 million to build, so the university wants to make sure we are getting our money’s worth. The second reason I believe is because of the sheer lack of students on the Westville campus. I currently take one class on the Westville campus on Mondays and Wednesdays. Speaking from my own experience, the Westville campus is barren. Never once have I had an issue with finding an open computer in the library, had an issue finding a decent parking spot or had to walk through heavily congested hallways. More often than not, I will enter a student lounge in DSSAC or LSF and I am one of maybe four students in there.

When comparing the two campuses, the Hammond campus is an eyesore compared to the Westville campus. The Westville campus is a squeaky clean facility built on large open fields filled with sculptures and art, whereas the Hammond campus looks like a town out of “Resident Evil 4,” but with a view of 80/94. Because of this, I love the idea of more students going to the Westville campus so more events can occur out there solely due to how much nicer it is, but we are not there yet. This is the equivalent of 15 family members from Indiana traveling over the holidays to see five family members in Arizona.

If the university wants to host more events on the Westville campus to get more students to attend, they need to start smaller. For example, hosting more intramural outdoor sporting events in Westville with the promise of students being shuttled there and back would be a great way for students to see the campus. If the university starts small, eventually more students will be interested in the Westville campus. Until then, PNW events will inevitably have lower and lower attendance.

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Column: Equality for unequal campuses”

  1. Olivia Forrester on March 21st, 2017 3:06 pm

    To be honest, this piece is unsupported, rude, and against the unification’s goals . I understand you’re up set. We all are and we all have been inconvenienced.  
    Let me tell you how things have been at the Westville Campus since unification. Our class selection has be slimmed down tremendously. My major has just the bare bones classes to graduate and about 2 electives more. That’s it. Administration’s solution is to “just go to Hammond”. The Hammond campus offers more and that is the only option we are given. As you may know, this is just not possible for some students. For example, I can give you the name and contact information for a student who had to transfer campuses completely to graduate, if you want real facts about being inconvenienced with the unification.
    Or how about the Girls Cross Country team who lost most of the Westville students due to unfairness and now runs on the streets of Hammond, and not our beautiful campus in Westville which is perfect for cross country training (you called it beautiful yourself).
    I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten emails about events happen on the Hammond Campus and about how your elevators are always broken. It seems like there is free food there or student event daily.
    When are you coming to Westville? I know when I’m there daily and during normal school hours (8AM-4PM, there are few night classes, not many), the common areas are packed. Try finding a computer in the Tech Lab during lunch hours, you won’t. I also remember a time last year when we did not have enough parking and many students got tickets for parking in the grass or just anywhere, because there was no where to park. That again, was during the daytime.
    Most of the department heads are in Hammond, yes we have liaisons, but I cannot simply stop check in with my department head during my school day nor do they have any idea of what work I’ve done in my four years of undergrad studies. It’s not their fault, it just how it is.
    Not to mention our food prices went up since we went with Chartwells, which to my understanding is from Hammond.
    The Westville Campus has to graduate on a Monday May 8th at 3PM, while the Hammond Campus as the weekend dates. I am thankful for the Westville Campus’ “$33 million” new building. Without the new building, Westville students would have to graduate at Valparaiso University on their grounds like many years in the past.
    On the other hand, I went to Hammond this past month to conduct a meeting with their Communication Honor Society. Being the President of the Communication Honor Society at Westville, I wanted to make a great impression and smooth our unification. The Hammond students were so nice and welcoming, they understood our concerns. I’m thankful that we started on the right path for unifying our societies. I cannot wait to see what we will do. So, with that being said, I know that not all Hammond students are ignorant to the changes that impacted Westville and are wanting to extend an olive branch.
    Your article is not conducive for PNW Pride. In fact, your article was about an event celebrating the unification and how you didn’t like sharing events’ locations, due to the possibility that some students MIGHT have stopped by. (C’mon, I know you slept in that day, be honest. I know I did.)
    I feel you abused your power as editor. This isn’t your Facebook, this is a publication that is funded by Westville campus students’ tuition as well.
    If we want this unification to work, we have to act like one university. If you want more students to come to the Westville campus, maybe stop bashing your own university for the public to see. I want the Westville campus to grow, probably more than you do, so why not have events to draw attention to the Westville campus?
    Lastly, if you want to work on relations with our campuses, let us know respectfully.

    Sincerely,
    A Westville Student (yes, we exist and we care)

    [Reply]

  2. Kristen Wozniak on March 21st, 2017 8:11 pm

    So, let me get this straight. The majority of PNW’S athletes are students from the Hammond (Calumet) campus, a large number of Westville students were forced to transfer to the Hammond campus to graduate, Westville students have to travel to the Hammond campus to meet with their department head, but you’re complaining about traveling to the Westville campus for an optional event? I’m sorry that you feel it is an inconvenience to travel for the optional event(s), but maybe you should consider the fact that most Westville students have been further inconvenienced by having to transfer to a campus that’s 45 minutes for mandatory classes, and to, you know, GRADUATE.

    Sincerely,

    A Forrmer Westville Student Who’s Happy She Graduated From PNC

    [Reply]

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