Improving access to summer opportunities

The recent College Council (CC) initiative regarding updates to Paresky Auditorium’s lighting system deserves praise. Scheduled to go into effect in just a few weeks, the new lights will allow an under-used space in the center of campus to be better utilized by College music, dance and theater groups that often lack vital space to host performances. With this project as its catalyst, Paresky Auditorium has the capability to exist as a space similar to Goodrich stage in hosting small, niche events on campus.

It is refreshing to see a practical resolution passed early in the new council’s term, and we admire their work as a herald of more positive changes to come. It is also appropriate – and in line with the co-presidents’ community engagement-based campaign – that focusing on revitalization of campus spaces is a council priority from the start. Recognizing that a lack of performance space is an issue students genuinely care about, council members reached out to student-run groups who seek to use such spaces to find out how to best address the issue. This certainly speaks to CC’s renewed efforts in working productively with community members and discerning the campus’ practical needs.

We care about campus spaces and want to change the fact that venues with great potential are oftentimes underused by the student population. Last fall, the Homecoming dance in Greylock failed when it was both not advertised well enough and not taken advantage of by students, and the building has remained almost dormant since then. Similarly, while the Log on Spring Street is an excellent space and has been used more this year than in the recent past, it still has yet to reach its full potential. Thus while we applaud CC’s accomplishments with Paresky Auditorium, we urge the council to continue its work in promoting the improvement and use of oft-neglected campus spaces.

The only way that such venues can be used to maximum potential, however, is if student groups actually step up to the plate and claim the spaces as their own. It is not only CC’s responsibility to make campus spaces available for our use, but it is also the student body’s responsibility to fill these venues with events we would like to see. In terms of Paresky Auditorium, CC has done its part – now it’s time for students to step up and do theirs.