Brachelli: Revamp dilapidated Tolentine

Maria Brachelli

Need a cup of coffee? Want to grab a quick breakfast? I hope you don’t have an 8:30 class in Tolentine. Oh wait, didn’t you have plans to study for an hour or so before that big exam with a couple of people from your class? That couldn’t possibly happen in Tolentine either. Why not? The answer is quite simple — there are no such facilities in the dilapidated building.

From the outside, Tolentine appears to be a charming old building, a structure of distinguished stature four floors tall. The little nooks leading to side entrances landscaped with trees, shrubbery and an occasional park bench provide an almost inviting environment. However, one step inside any door to Tolentine leaves the visitor in a shocking recollection of high school days.

Anyone who has ever ventured beyond the first floor of Tolentine has experienced the inadequacies of the building. The stairways are a treacherous feat to overcome, each of them slightly caved inward from the abundant traffic. Wearing anything other than a sneaker creates the risk of stepping in the concavities and loosing one’s footing. After those finals steps are mounted, take a look down the hallway. Have you ever noticed that on the third floor all logical ways of numbering the rooms are lost? It’s actually quite comical to see everyone scurrying about in search of the right room, and occasionally someone will take a seat and then turn to whisper to the person behind them, “This is Gen. Psych., right?”

It’s practically a guarantee that anywhere on the third or fourth floor of Tolentine will be an uncomfortable temperature. In the middle of the freezing, below-zero degrees days, Tolentine is always stifling even though the ceiling fans running on a medium level.

I feel for the individual who has a project or proposal to present in Tolentine. The building is created to minimally accommodate students in terms of multimedia applications. Not many classrooms have access to white boards, TV/VCR functions or even laptop hookups.

Is the University really rejecting the idea and hope of professionalism for art students, especially the psychology students whose department is housed in Tolentine? I would certainly hope not. However, considering the unfavorable interior conditions of the building and the insufficient facilities within the building, as compared to the others on campus, what else are students left to think?

Consider Bartley with The Exchange, Holy Grounds located in the library, Connelly and CEER, even SAC with an underground café for students and faculty to snag a sandwich. Short of sitting in a random desk in a hallway, an empty classroom or an office, there is nowhere to have a seat to look over notes, write an e-mail or schedule a meeting with professors or friends in Tolentine. Would it be so terribly wrong to propose that the University make some drastic renovations to Tolentine? The arts students deserve a building of which they can be proud. Please, give us a place to convene, study and buy a cup of coffee and allow us the amenities that other students already have so that we, too, may utilize innovations of the other schools in a professional manner in our own building.