A case for timeless buildings

The first time I visited Sam Houston State University was Saturday@Sam spring of 2010. Like it was yesterday, I can still recall the smell of freshly mown grass, sound of a lively campus and of course the abnormal quantity of squirrels.

As my tour continued, I remember being mesmerized by the Bobby K. Marks Administration Building, with its beautiful white crown molding details and a grand entryway that symbolized my future as I stepped into the next chapter in my life. I was inspired. For the first time in my life, I knew where I belonged and it was in that precious fleeting moment I decided to become a Bearkat.

Established in year 1879, Sam Houston State University was founded on the historic traditional values of service and honor. It is because of those values that we are proud to call ourselves Bearkats, and it is because of the quality of education and life on our campus that we choose to attend university.

When expanding and updating our campus the history and traditions of Sam Houston State University must be considered with great care. The newest additions to our campus infrastructure have been; old Main Market, Lonestar Hall and the university health center. Reflecting industry post-modernist architecture style, these structures project a clean, simplistic and almost “futuristic” look. However, this modern look is similar to that of a strip mall or a newly renovated fast food restaurant, and will not stand the test of time and will look outdated in just a few years. The post-modernist style is appropriate for the Mexican grill restaurant “Chipotle” but does not really say “high-quality education since 1879” to prospective students.

We have all made the late night journey to Taco Bell or McDonald’s, searching for cost effective nourishment from a dollar menu only to wake up still hungry for higher-quality food. Sam Houston State University is not a dollar menu education. We students spend tens-of-thousands of dollars, and travel for hundreds of miles to receive our education here, and we do so for a reason. Sam Houston State University produces highly skilled and educated leaders of industry, and our campus and its architecture should reflect this distinguished reputation, not a greasy burger joint. A campus in which to take pride, not something flashy and trendy.

I believe that it is the collective responsibility of each Bearkat to maintain and preserve the next generation for our campus. A current goal of the Student Government Association is to create new guiding principles that will emphasize the importance of academic inspiration and environmental cohesion through our university’s architecture. Next time you may be on campus I implore you to take a stroll and truly absorb our environment. As you walk, I hope you find structures that inspire you to learn and make you feel proud of our school and its long standing tradition of excellence.


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