How Big is Too Big?

SGA has just started a new series on our social media channels, in a countdown to Valentine's Day, highlighting what faculty, staff, and students love about Belmont. That had me thinking about all of the things that I love about Belmont and the reason that I decided to start college here three and a half years ago. When I toured Belmont, I remember walking around and feeling that this place was right for me. I can't remember one thing that anyone said to me, but I distinctly remember the feeling that I received when I roamed this tight-knit community that I would later call home.

On Monday the University broke ground on a new residence hall where several Bruin Hills apartments once stood. This building will be ten or eleven stories tall, depending on how you count the levels, with no parking garage included as part of the plan. I'm glad we're building a new residence hall, but I wonder if by the time it's completed in 2019 if we'll just have to move on to the next residential area. There hasn't been any statement that growth will stop at 8,888 students, so one is only left to wonder if one new residence hall is enough. In April of last year we received an email saying that there would be additional practice rooms in Hitch; if this promise begins, will they be enough for a growing population?

Now, the increasing population of Belmont mightn't be such a concern if students had an outlet to distinguish themselves from their BUID or communicate with one another. However, we've now implemented a policy where residential students can't put anything in the windows of their own rooms. I, like many of you, tried to get an explanation and couldn't get a clear answer, leaving me much in agreement with the majority of those affected and loving the dialogue that has come of it. Maybe if students had the ability get connected to one another or have a central area to see what is happening on campus, this would be less of an issue. However, there seems to be fewer and fewer bulletin boards on campus and the more aesthetically pleasing option of televisions won't be happening either. Instead, the sentiment I've heard and agree with is that we are moving towards a more sterile environment.

Just like most people I get frustrated every time I walk past the Hitch parking lot and see it empty, reserved for visitors. It bugs me when cars are lined all of the way onto Wedgewood between class changes, unable to move due to the sheer amount of people. I really don't like the long lines in the bookstore, the small size of the fitness center, and I could go on. But, don't take this as a list of negative things. Overall I love this place. I hope you love this place. That doesn't mean that we can't want to make it better though. I simply wonder how big is too big. I toured Belmont in 2012 and the campus has changed dramatically since that time. Will I recognize it when I come back years down the line?

Chris Dickerson