Poor communication with sports field improvements

We begin the year with a strike against one of our editorial board’s most beloved topics: university communication — more specifically, the failings of our university and its administration to communicate with its faculty, staff, and students. While we wish we could call this pre-emptive, we have an unresolved issue to deal with from the past summer.

New students may notice a stunning green Astroturf soccer field awaiting them through the fences at the corner of Forbes Avenue and Margaret Morrison Street. However, the Carnegie Mellon denizens who remained in Pittsburgh over the summer witnessed machinery come in and tear up the previous grass field with no advance warning. They saw a field transformed into a wasteland of dirt and gravel hills. They saw large trees torn from the ground. They questioned what was coming — was the administration putting up a new building, fixing a water main break, or just mutilating the ground for sport?

When the Gates Hillman Complex construction began, giant printed canvases were affixed to fences around the whole perimeter announcing this future landmark in computer science, and while those at times seemed a bit more self-congratulatory than necessary, a single sign, a rendering, or an announcement that a new field was being installed would be appreciated. On the fence surrounding Warner Hall, there are a few small signs explaining why the plaza is being renovated. This is an improvement over the mystery surrounding the IM field, but the university should aim higher.

While we certainly appreciate the continued efforts to improve our campus landscape and facilities, we hope that Carnegie Mellon’s administration can work to inform those who might question a bulldozer tearing up the earth or the sudden appearance of an improved sports field when returning from summer break.