Laurier continues on an unsustainable course

It has been recently announced that the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union (WLUSU) is planning another round of renovations of the 24-Hour Lounge with the aim of adding another 90 seats for study space. To the tune of $600,000, the planned renovations will replace the offices with semi-private cubicles and allow WLUSU to consolidate their staff for increased communication, though it will cut into the lounge area for students to congregate.

It does seem that the 2-4 Lounge is always undergoing renovations, but that doesn’t mean they are not necessary. This is most certainly a band-aid solution, but the reality is that with the increasing enrolment, student space on campus is becoming scarce. Those of us that have been around for four or five years can attest to the rapid transformation of our university — there simply is no space and any new expansion helps.

We are facing a troubling reality that Laurier is losing its small-school charm — a feature that makes it attractive to top-tier students who would otherwise be drawn by the prestige of larger schools like the University of Toronto or the University of Western Ontario. Instead, class sizes are skyrocketing, course selection is declining, study space is shrinking, the wireless network is overwhelmed and the campus is becoming crowded. Planned large-scale expansions are not coming soon enough. The problem is now.

WLUSU can do all the renovations it wants, but it cannot keep up with the demand for space at the end of the day. This problem lies with the university, as does the solution. The university needs to roll back enrolment in the future or prepare to accept the inevitable consequences of remaining on this unsustainable trajectory, to the detriment of Laurier’s students and the school’s reputation.