TCU Daily Skiff Friday, February 20, 2004
Frog Fountain
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TCU needs to bring campus back to life by refocusing on its beautification

B y Brian Wooddell

I’m a good Horned Frog.

I dutifully duck my head when entering the mail room and the back of the Student Center, I walk around the school seal and I rarely walk on the grass in front of Reed Hall. I even paid attention during my Monday tour.

As I understand it, years ago, some old lady gave an amazingly large amount of money to TCU just to make it pretty (I’m paraphrasing, so please, no letters explaining what really happened). To me, this is as, if not more, important of a gift as the Moncrief dynasty’s new field at Amon Carter. An attractive campus makes students feel better and helps them take more pride in their school. These days, however, I think she would be appalled.

That said, I’d like to praise workers at the TCU Physical Plant for what they have done to keep our school in bloom. The flowers and plants are beautiful, and the grass, when it’s not dead because of the weather, is usually soft and flawless. Good job, guys.
But there are problems the Physical Plant cannot fix, either due to lack of funds or resources. For example, the faculty and visitors parking lots are potholed eyesores. If TCU is so concerned about its image, it would follow that these be fixed soon, since they are some of the first things prospective students see.

Next, we have the Brown-Lupton Student Center, one of TCU’s biggest embarrassments. Every time I walk through its screeching back door, I wonder what the designers were thinking. The lounge needs new furniture, not old, stained couches and a TV on a leftover art pedestal. Frogbytes should be where the Reading Room is (this is why we have a library), and The Main should be expanded so I don’t have to jump over the Pi Kapps and the football/basketball teams when trying to find a table. And please, can we get rid of the old television antenna on the roof?

When faced with Texas A&M’s Memorial Student Union or UT’s Union, how can we even fool ourselves into thinking ours measures up, even though our school is a fraction of the size.

While there isn’t space to expand on the other problems I see, consider the following overview: The library’s front entrance is stained from acid rain and rust and its old entrance needs a little “sprucing.” The Sid Richardson hand rails don’t match from north to south. Moudy’s front awning hasn’t been cleaned in years, and the ivy either is or looks to be dead during most of the time classes are in session.

Froggie-Five-O has managed to destroy every corner of grass on campus because of its drivers’ inability to negotiate turns (this could have its own column). The area north of the stadium looks unkempt, even when there isn’t construction. Finally, the new basketball facility looks like a bleach-white pole barn from central Oklahoma (no offense).
Now that we’ve raised tuition, we should use those dollars to make TCU presentable. Right now, we lose to other schools, such as SMU and Trinity, just to name a couple. That is unfortunate. Instead of making inane improvements on the football field or other facilities, TCU should focus its efforts on fixing the various eyesores on campus.
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