Sep 092008
Authors: Brian Lancaster

I find it to be a very sad occurrence when I, a normally reasonable and intelligent fellow, cannot find it within myself to accept certain changes.

I have been walking around campus in different areas, recently, trying to find the easiest places to park, etc, and noticed that our campus has been graced with the presence of five new pieces of art.

These sculptures located all around campus cost $15-20,000 to install, according to a Collegian article from last summer.

Far be it from me to try to judge different forms of art or validate the quality of the artistry involved. I think that campus beautification is one thing that this school has going in its favor. Our campus is beautiful.

Well . it was beautiful.

The biggest problem with this whole situation is that, with all the emphasis our administration seems to have placed upon the beautification of this campus, a few items seem to have fallen through the cracks.

The main one being the complete and total destruction of the west lawn.

I loved the west lawn, and the fact that there’s a temporary parking lot there now where there used to be lovely, beautiful green grass is irritating to no end.

We spent money — not a lot in the grand scheme of things — to bring art to the campus of Colorado State University, and yet we dug up one of the most beautiful areas of campus — and dropped some gravel to park on.

I know I’m not the only one who has a problem with the parking lot — I read about it in one of the first issues of this newspaper that I saw when I came back after the summer.

And yet . it’s there. The temporary parking lot is a blemish to this campus. The placement seems completely random (in the middle of a grassy field), and it looks like some big gravel monster threw up in a strangely rectangular pattern on the grass.

Oh, and that fence is real appealing too.

The part about this that seriously irks me is that the steel beams that make up the pieces of art mentioned earlier cost us money, and they’re only temporary. And yet, we have a parking shortage. Both the materials used in these works of art and the money used to bring them here could’ve been put to better use on our campus.

We could’ve used those steel beams to create a parking structure. Instead of wasting money on steel beams that have been twisted and contorted in some fashion and then magically dubbed “art” by the powers that be, the steel beams could’ve been used to create something with purpose.

And we don’t even get to keep these pieces of art. They’re being loaned to us.

I am all for programs like Sculpturescape. But if we have to pay for pieces of art to be put around campus, I think that we, as a student body, should get a say in it and at least get some art that we all enjoy or find meaning in.

But let’s get our priorities straight, and instead of sending these steel beams to an artist, let’s send them to a large parking lot — the one right south of Newsom and the Academic Village looks enticing — and start construction of a two- to three-level parking garage that would alleviate some stress on our current parking situation.

I know this column has been a really round-about rant about the appropriate use of our money at this school. I hoped to use the new parking lot and art structures as small examples proving that we need to get our priorities in order before we continue spending money.

But maybe I’m just thinking too much about it and putting too much effort to find alternatives and meanings. Maybe I should just sit back and enjoy the progress that’s happening on campus.

It is, after all, art.

Brian Lancaster is a senior English major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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