Letter to the editor: Plan for new dormitory good idea, bad location

As a senior preparing to graduate in spring 2012, I’m ecstatic about the $30 million plan to renovate campus, even though I probably won’t have the opportunity to bask in the state-of-the-art additions that will be made.

I truly believe and agree with the decision to build new dorms because my junior year I was forced to search for housing arrangements off campus due to the overflow of the incoming freshman class, as they were made priority to house first.

Though I consider the building of new dorms “good news,” the location for the new dorms needs to be reconsidered. The Kernel stated Wednesday that one dorm will cater to Honors Program students and “will be built on the sports field next to Haggin Hall.”

The sports field by Haggin Hall is indeed a large, grassy, open area, but it’s in no way a vacant space that should be used for building a dorm upon. The Haggin sports field is in the middle of campus and it’s an ideal location for students who live on campus to gather and play recreational sports or have other extracurricular activities.

The only other large, grassy, open area to play recreational sports or to have other events at is the Johnson Center field, which is on South Campus. That’s not a convenient walking distance for a student who lives in a dorm on the north side of campus.

I’m outraged that President Capilouto and the Board of Trustees would even consider building a dorm on Haggin sports field. There’s enough concrete and mortar on campus; don’t deplete one of the only large, grassy, open spaces that is left to the students to run free upon.

There has to be other location options to build new dorms. For instance, the old Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity house is sitting vacant. Why not tear that down and build a new dormitory there? Or wait, would that be considered off-campus or violate some kind of contract?

I no longer live in the dorms and very soon I will no longer be a student at UK, but I want to make sure when I leave this university that students living on campus have the same opportunities that I had when I lived on campus.

Meaning, I hope they will be able to enjoy the same freedom to run around in the same field, behind the same dorm, as I did, which most students currently like to refer to as “Haggin Hell.”