Jonah Jellesed

The changes made around the Gonzaga University campus during the summer of 2019 were made with good intentions, at the very least. The problem is that, this summer, good intentions only got GU so far.

A myriad of changes were made around campus and on paper, some of them seem subtle. The truth is that the new changes around campus are ones that affect the day-to-day lives of a large portion of GU students.

 The most visible changes include the following: new John J. Hemmingson Center furniture, removed parking spaces next to Mulligan Field, the new Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center and freshly paved sidewalks behind College Hall.

The new, brightly-colored furniture in the Hemmingson Center is controversial, to put it nicely. All speculation aside, the furniture is not an upgrade. 

When I first saw the furniture that is nearest to COG on the first floor of the Hemmingson Center, I didn’t know where to sit. 

The seats alternate between lower positions and higher ones; maybe the higher ones are meant to be place to put your drink or backpack?

So my first impression of these new seats wasn’t great considering I was too confused to even form one. There is another obvious issue with the furniture: the direction that you face. The old seats were in a large circle, all facing inwards--this was great for conversation with people who you sat down with. The new seats don’t allow you to look at other people using them. They make you feel isolated and disconnected from other people sitting around you. The change struck such a significant cord with GU students that a petition against the new furniture surfaced, accruing nearly 500 signatures. 

I have a personal issue with another change made on the GU campus this summer, the parking spaces next to Mulligan Field that were removed.

The problem is that I, among other GU students, like working out. The gym is the location that working out typically happens. Living in the Kennedy Apartments requires me to drive to the Rudolf Fitness Center (RFC) when the weather gets bad, as it inevitably does in Spokane. The recently-removed parking spots next to Mulligan Field were prime for people that drove to the RFC.

Parking next to Mulligan Field was a part of my gym ritual. Last week, I drove over to the RFC thinking my coveted parking spaces were waiting for me. You can imagine the horror when an unforgiving reality forced me to park five minutes away from the gym.

I don’t appreciate the parking next to Mulligan Field being replaced by some plants.

What I do appreciate is the Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center. I have class in the Jundt Art Museum, so I walk right next to the performing arts center on Tuesday and Thursday morning. The light red brick is easy on the eye. The brick is a very similar color to that of St. Aloysius Catholic Church. I appreciate the nod to an iconic structure that is also synonymous with GU. 

The tall, glass windows that gleam in the morning sun give the performing arts center an other-worldly feel to it. The building’s balance between history and modernity (whether purposely done or not) is unparalleled to anywhere else on campus.

I definitely saved the best for last, the new sidewalk behind College Hall.

Being the Kennedy person that I am, I spent too much time walking in the grass last semester. The new sidewalk behind College Hall has helped to lift this burden off my shoulders. This sidewalk has renewed my faith in GU’s ability to address issues that are important to students. This sidewalk shows that the university really cares about the average GU student.

The path to Bulldog Alley has become a beacon of hope, and paved, so thank you GU.

Jonah Jellesed is a staff writer.

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