Kernel Editorial: BBNunited proposal benefits all of UK community

President Eli Capilouto is seeking students’ support for his campus revitalization plan that has been declared BBNunited.

This plan is the embodiment of the progressive action this administration needs to take to move UK forward.

Students study at the Carol Martin Gatton College of Business and Economics. Photo by Adam Pennavaria | Staff

Capilouto wrote in an op-ed to The Courier-Journal that, “More than one year ago, I stood before our campus community for the first time, acknowledging the challenges associated with preparing students for a 21st-century world using 19th-century facilities.”

There is no question that many of UK’s facilities are in need of updating. Also, there is no question this university has struggled to find financial support from the state legislature in recent years.

A proposal that will be self-financed, mostly by athletics and private donations, is the kind of innovative program needed for UK to begin long-overdue campus improvements.
The improvements laid out in the

BBNunited program are ones that the UK community as a whole should support. Because it updates academic, housing and athletics facilities, BBNunited is essentially a working compromise for those who question how the university allocates funds.

Earlier in the year, a series in the Kernel said UK would need to spend more money on football to be competitive in the SEC.

Many fans believe UK has found the coach to bring the program out of the SEC cellar, and the BBNunited updates will give Mark Stoops the facilities needed to sell the UK football program to recruits.

However, this plan also includes spending that can be supported by those who think academics are often neglected in the name of athletics.

The Gatton College of Business and economics will be renovated and expanded and a new academic and science building will be built, officials announced earlier this month.

These are academic facilities vital to UK, and the current science building is among those most needing repair or replacement.

This follows a trend of Capilouto looking beyond state funds to finance projects.

The construction on New Central Residence Hall is part of his plan to implement privatized housing on campus.

In a Monday op-ed, Capilouto, Stoops, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart, Gatton Dean David Blackwell and Student Government President Stephen Bilas point out that members of the UK community were “joined by Gov. Beshear and more than 30 legislators in support of our proposal.”

However, the op-ed submitted urged students to show support. Students have been asked to contact their legislators, which can be done through BBNunited.com.

Even though this proposal will use funds from outside state government, UK still finds itself at the government’s mercy.

If UK cannot gain the support needed to move forward with this project, the needs of our facilities will continue to be neglected.

“We don’t lack for the talent to solve the seemingly intractable challenges confronting our commonwealth, country and world,” Capilouto went on to say in The Courier-Journal. “Where we must improve is creating facilities as good as our people — facilities with the high-tech learning and collaborative research space that enable our people to dream about what might be and tap into their limitless potential to make those dreams reality.”

This proposal does not solve all of UK’s facilities problems, but it can begin to address some of our campus’ most pressing needs.

Paul says:

Frank;

I understand your sentiment. Really, I do. I understand that you’ve never listened to music, watched a television show, or enjoyed a nice comedy. I also understand that you don’t appreciate the scientific advances made by the great artists of history, not to mention the effects that music and art have on the human psyche.

Shew, sure is a good thing I don’t have to put up with you on a daily basis.

Katye says:

Frank, any building on UK’s campus is useful because our classrooms and buildings are used to further our education and help us achieve what we want to do. Every building on campus deserves a renovation, but there are some that should be helped first.

While I appreciate what our new president is doing, I don’t believe starting with the very nice Gatton building is the best decision. As an Arts Administration student who has taken classes in both the Fine Arts Building and Gatton, Fine Arts is in need of a little more help.

So think twice before you make an ignorant comment about the Arts buildings not being “useful.”

Jessie says:

Gatton is easily one of the nicest buildings on campus. I see NO reason why it’s in need of renovation, especially when compared to the festering nuclear wasteland that is Chem/Phys, musty Whitehall, the unrenovated Fine-Arts building, or decrepit Reynolds.

Whether or not The Arts are important to YOU is not the question. What matters is, The Arts are important to A LOT of people. It’s not individual concern UK should be paying attention to…it’s mass concern. And I don’t see many Business students complaining about the fear of dangerous radiation or falling through the floor of Gatton.

Kate says:

Frank, dear, if you knew anything about history or the human race in general, you would know the human race could not have survived this long/advanced this far without the arts or culture. I guess you wouldn’t care though because the only thing important in life is being a drone sitting in a cubicle for the rest of your life, since you can’t have a tv at home, read books for fun, listen to music, or have any sort of artwork or decorations in your home because those things are obviously not something you would want to ever partake in. America is falling down the list in worldwide test scores and intelligence because of people like you who have bigoted ideas about how the arts don’t matter.

frank says:

Kate, the Gatton building deserves further funding because unlike the schools you have mentioned, it is useful.

Kate says:

I understand the need for the new science building. But renovating Gatton? That’s one of the nicest buildings on campus. What about renovating the Fine Arts Building? (Which, by the way, has never been renovated, it’s still like it was in the 1950s) Or Lafferty Hall? Or the Reynolds building, which is potentially dangerous (and not to mention an incredibly long walk from campus in an unsafe area) for Art Studio students? I think what Capilouto is doing is awesome and UK definitely needs renovating overall, but Gatton isn’t one of them.