Utilize university resources more

Suprabha Pudasainy, [email protected]

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Let’s utilize university resources, like Bayou Park, more.

One of the best spots to hang out at ULM is Bayou Park which is located between the two bridges and provides a beautiful view of the water, especially during the sunset. Despite the park’s prospect of being a perfect place to spend some leisure time, alone or with friends, it often remains unoccupied.

The lack of adequate seating space and the swampy grounds of the park has contributed to the students’ ignorance when it comes to this park. The park also lacks other recreational activities that students could get involved in.

The college website describes this park as a spot for college organizations to conduct their events. However, with proper care and effort from the student body and the administration, it could be made into much more by utilizing its recreational value.

Another example of a university resource that is being neglected is the big grill that we have across the library. What could be an awesome barbecue spot is something that often goes ignored and unused because of its unkempt state. Many freshmen don’t even know of its existence because it is used so rarely by those who know about it.

When I first arrived at ULM, the idea of a park overlooking the bayou was something that I had wanted to explore more. However, its unclean state that clearly represents the negligence has made spots like Starbucks a better option to spend time at. While the trees’ shade outside Starbucks has its own charm, it cannot compete with the uniqueness of the space surrounding the bayou.

Many students can understand this choice to spend free time in a cleaner and more happening spot. The grill not being used is also completely understandable considering its deteriorating state.

This doesn’t mean that it’s okay to ignore this issue of university resources being neglected. Merely complaining about it will not improve anything. Instead, all of us should recognize their importance as properties of the university as well as resources that we could all enjoy.

The office of Student Life and Leadership does schedule events at the park. While it should be responsible for cleaning and maintaining the condition of the park, this shouldn’t be an excuse for the student body to ignore it. More importantly, various Registered Student Organizations in the university should utilize the volunteering ethics and dedication of their members to help clean the park.

Not only will this create a clean and safe space for all the students, but it will also provide the organizations a better venue for their outdoor events. For this, all of us who are a part of any RSO could raise the proposal of cleaning the park on certain scheduled dates so that all of us are working together to help protect the university resources.

By introducing incentives such as rewards and benefits for those with the most contributions, everyone could be encouraged to get involved in this.

We could start by removing the debris of leaves collected at the sidelines of the bayou which often starts to smell if left uncleaned, especially during the rain. Noticing the student body take an initiative to clean the university property like that could also veer the administration to contribute towards such endeavors.

With the help of the administration, the addition of more benches and chairs for people to sit in could also attract students to spend their time in the park. Considering how there is a very limited seating space in the park, spending spare time standing in an empty park doesn’t really sound that appealing.

Within a semester, we could bring a significant change in the space surrounding the bayou to welcome the freshmen in the fall with a beautiful and clean park, a tolerable grill for those who would enjoy it and other resources within the university which we could improve by collaborative efforts among the students and the university.