The walk around campus is a beautiful one. You can hear birds chiming familiar tunes, students sharing laughs and whispers of unforetold information, and the whispers sometimes have enough power to crawl on our skin like a million tiny fire ants.
As I was venturing from class to class, I reconciled conversations with a few familiar faces and the first whisper heavily dripped from her lips as well as utmost concern for the university and where their funding’s sit on the hierarchy for student and faculty needs, in comparison to their wants. Another whisper tickled my ear as I recently discovered that Washburn is undergoing construction for a new track. I’m very excited for that because one of my closest friends runs track.
In the back of my mind, I remembered all of the students anxiously hoping to reserve one of the four designated rooms housed in the office for diversity and inclusion for students with anxiety to quietly take their exams. With those thoughts in my mind, I continued on my way as I overheard another that Washburn will be graced with the presence of a well-known guest speaker, word be told, thousands of people will show up to hear what he has to say, all of these people are assumed to be "stuffed in Lee Arena." I brushed it off and continued my stroll when I stumbled across the fact that the sound system, feeding sound for our lectures, presentations and guest speakers inside of the historic White Concert Hall, is dated from 1962. It was time for the meeting with that professor who stays 120 minutes past his office hours to help students. I took a seat in his office, which felt almost like a stuffy closet, brightly he smiled and offered his help.
Later that day, amongst the windstorm of whispers, I took a seat on the bench across from the designated smoking area on campus, taking in the second-hand breeze of the conversations nearby, as one of the ideas stung at the back of mind, Washburn deserves better. In all of the whispers I heard a shout coming from the back of Washburn’s throat. Washburn’s heart was molded and raised to only love, give and teach, but what about the physical foundation of Washburn itself. What happens as the foundation falls outdated? Washburn is home and students grow from what Washburn must teach us. If our campus falls outdated so does our education.
Testing centers, daycare services for student parents, study area renovations, designated organization conference rooms, larger office space for faculty, updated sound system, gender neutral bathrooms, lecture halls, scholarship for students who don’t fit criteria and some tender love and care to spread across our university, a new track, will help our university to grow with our sibling universities. In my opinion, if Washburn can find funding for the labor to build the track, they can find the funding for other things that different organizations find important as well.