The Writing Center moved to LaGorce House near the freshman dorms during the fall 2012 semester. The Toppel Career Center re-opened behind Pavia Garage this semester. The Student Health Center will eventually make its way across campus to the border of Ponce de Leon Boulevard when the new UHealth facility opens in 2016.
Intentional or not, there seems to be a trend of decentralizing offices on campus. As the university pushes these departments farther from the heart of campus, a simple errand becomes more and more of a struggle. When the Miami heat and humidity hits, walking across campus can be downright exhausting. The Miami Hurricane proposes expanding the Hurry Cane shuttle service to include convenient access around campus for both residents and commuters.
Otherwise, when essential services are moved to the outskirts of campus, it discourages students from actually making the trek over to the office, and these services can become under-utilized. Is that resume critique really worth the humid walk over to Toppel? Do any sophomores, juniors or seniors take advantage of the Writing Center? How long can a student survive without giving in and getting a new Cane Card?
While we cannot expect to receive everything in neat packages, a centralized location for campus services is crucial to meeting students’ needs. For example, the Study Abroad Office moved closer to the center of campus near the Office of Financial Assistance. Odds are that students will visit the Study Abroad Office and then walk next door to consider their financial situation for that trip.
The University of Miami as a private institution should base its decisions entirely on customer satisfaction – aka student satisfaction.
Part of choosing the right college campus is looking at the school’s resources. Prospective students should consider accessibility and usability as the most important factors when choosing a university, aside from evaluating academics.
Of course, the campus cannot quickly change how accessible certain services are. It’s also not likely that the decentralization trend can be easily reversed.
For the departments located along Ponce, especially like Cane Card services at the McKnight Building next to Titanic Brewery, it’s a hassle to walk or drive out to the main street. The administration should take another look at the existing shuttle routes and revise them to account for the changes to campus that have been made recently.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.