Syracuse University recently announced that the Carrier Dome, landmark and home for the University’s football, basketball and lacrosse programs, will be getting a new, fixed up roof by 2020.
The updates also include increased WiFi, accessibility improvements, and a new sound and lighting system to go along with a vertically-hung scoreboard. The university hopes that this will help attract more student-athletes and students, because you know, you can’t sucessfully run a university without students.
As the son of a Syracuse alumna and a student who attended nearby SUNY-ESF through sophomore year, it feels weird to see a hallmark like the Carrier Dome change. It had become second nature to see a basketball game in a random corner of an enclosed dome, better yet a football game which felt like a house party meets a convention.
Considering how cold, windy, and snowy it gets in ‘Cuse, people weren’t really missing out on a view because there really isn’t one. Now they are going to add this random window to the outside on the roof, which will just show what we already know: empty skies, rain, snow, and wind.
This is also a university that should probably be concentrating on making sure everyone in their student body is respected considering what they have made headlines for recently.
Despite the dome being around since the late 1970’s, sports have always thrived in the dome despite its aging accommodations. Dropping $118 million on making sure your athletes and fans feel posh and happy while watching students put their education to the backburner for their athletic viewing pleasure looks good on the surface. That is, until you realize that the cost of attending SU is around $65k/year.
How about some academic scholarships or funding for students in need with that money? Or maybe more community engagement and outreach to a city that has sunk in the shadow of this University? Nah, we’re gonna beef up our athletic facilities some more, because after all, everybody in New York knows the Syracuse Orange.
The Dome renovations are part of the West Campus project that includes adjacent Archbold Gymnasium and will cost the University a total of $225 million. Along with the renovations of Schine Student Center that are planned to start in 2019, these actions show that Syracuse is sprucing up its campus more that it already is.
You can’t fault a university for knowing its strengths and catering to them, however it makes me wonder whether they should be focusing on their weaknesses more. These updates may benefit the amenities and entertainment of students, but they actually don’t benefit the students in an academic way.
Even worse, they distance the campus more from the city of Syracuse, which despite its artistic, niche outskirts, still holds a city center that is gritty, rust-belt, and could use some care and compassion from those that can give it.
Syracuse University can give students and fans all these things, but will they realize and share the wealth, or keeping feeding themselves until they become too full of it? Because while all these things attract student athletes and students who like sports, they don’t attract regular students, and that could eventually become a problem.
Two Buttons Deep is a news & entertainment website based in upstate New York.
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