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Editorial: Robinson Tower Bound

Sept. 17, 1996


Robinson Tower bound

New offices boast of increased space, not always student-friendly access

The issue:

Many University offices have moved to the Clifton Robinson Tower, thus taking advantage of the extra space and upgraded facilities.

Our view:

Some of these offices do not have regular contact with students, but the administration must keep a student-friendly campus at the top of their priorities.

As soon as Clifton Robinson Tower opened its shiny glass doors, there was a crush of administrative offices salivating at the chance to move in. Of the approximately 16 University offices located in the tower, most are administrative in nature and do not deal with students on a daily basis. In these cases, there is not a major conflict.

Three offices -- the Cashiers' office, the Baylor Department of Public Safety and the Loan Collections office -- deal with students on a fairly regular basis. It is understandable that the departments would like to take advantage of such a modern, spacious facility as Robinson Tower. However, those offices should not lose sight of their core mission: To serve the students that attend the University.

Robinson Tower is more beneficial to Baylor's image and public relations than it is to the students. It looks great in glossy brochures and to visitors, but the distance from campus makes it more difficult for students without a car to take care of routine transactions.

President Robert B. Sloan Jr. has made a vigorous effort to raise money for the new Student Life Complex, demonstrating his commitment to making high-quality facilities available to students. The decisions to move the offices to the tower were made before Sloan became president. To get the offices to move out and back onto campus would be akin to chiseling barnacles off a tug boat.

However, a possible enticement would be to offer to move some of the offices currently in Robinson Tower to the new Student Life Complex.

This move would provide even more modern facilities than the tower, plus a refreshment area and fitness facilities for the employees.

The most beneficial relocation, from the student's perspective, would be to move the Cashier's Office to the complex. In the long-run, this would be mutually beneficial. It would make the offices more responsive to the needs and concerns of students, as well as making the offices more accessible to students living on campus without a car.

The Student Life Complex is a laudable step in the right direction, but until construction is complete, it is largely symbolic.

Though Baylor is generally more responsive to student concerns than are many large public universities, glaring disregard for student friendliness such as the mass move to Robinson Tower seems to contradict this mission.

Though public relations plays a role in enticing wealthy benefactors to generously donate to the school, thereby lowering tuition and fees and allowing us to undertake projects such as the Student Life Complex, it should not be the top priority of the school. The top priority should be to serve students in the most effective and efficient way possible.

The Baylor Board of Regents, Sloan and other administrators in decision-making positions should continue to keep student friendliness at the top of their priority list.

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