Free yourself from reality, blur your fantasy, immerse in pleasant thoughts, awake to your hopes and ambitions, and discover the world you’ve always imagined.

What do I stand for?!

Dear Chancellor Daniele C. Struppa,

Chapman University is ranked in the U.S. News and World Report‘s top-tier of western region colleges and universities, and Newsweek Magazine picked Chapman as the third most beautiful campus in the U.S for 2013.  Despite the top-tier and beauty of Chapman University, The Schmid College of Science and Technology is lacking a quality learning environment and adequate classroom facilities within the Hashinger Science Center.

Hashinger Science Center

The ideology of this letter involves views against the minority, such that the shortfall of science majors on campus hinders the significance of updating and refurbishing the Schmid College of Science and Technology.  As a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major at Chapman University, I have relevant experience with this issue because the majority of my time is spent within the HSC.  My knowledge of this subject can be noted from personal experiences and opinions, thoughts, and impressions of other individuals associated with the HSC.  The values in this open letter portray equality in all majors on campus, such that there is a financial awareness and equal distribution of funds throughout the campus. The desire to revamp Chapman University’s science department stems from a majority of under-privileged individuals, such as individuals who financially lack money to donate for refurbishing The Schmid College of Science and Technology to begin construction immediately. This letter addresses several priorities, such as influencing discussion and prompting action to be taken to satisfy the science community at Chapman University.

The the quality of the classrooms and laboratories within the HSC are substandard and can be considered unacceptable, since the disrepairs and insufficient instruments hinder students ability to preform superior. The outdated instruments (pH meter, pipets, and light absorbency meters to name a few) are inconsistent and do not project accurate data students can utilize in their lab reports. Moreover, the inaccurate results can prompt students to formulate incorrect conclusions and attain imprudent comprehension. In particular the time spent in beginning labs, such as Chem 140 and 150, is wasted away by sifting through broken and lost tools to start the project. The lack of supplies and computers prohibits students from keeping their focus on the main experiment because their attention is required to find working devices. Sharing apparatuses lengthens the time in the lab, thus prompting students to become anxious and annoyed which eventually leads to carelessness.  The students then throw away precious time that could have been spent creating quality bonds with their professors and mastering the subject material.

Additionally, the lower level of HSC yields an incompetent and unsatisfactory learning environment.  The basement has been renamed “the dungeon” because the sound of the stairwell door slamming resembles that of being locked in an underground prison cell.  The downstairs computer lab has been renamed “the ice box” because the uncontrollable thermostat floods the room with a cold chill. Working in this space, students have difficulty focusing because the uncomfortable blue chairs in the computer lab and arrangements of the desks away from the projector screen encourage a lack of attention to the professor.

In regards to campus beauty, the Hashinger Science Center (HSC) is the most despairing and unappealing building on campus.  At first glance this building is disguised beyond trees, however with a closer look the building appears to resembles a jail.  Although a prisoner would rather remain in a penal institution than spend time in HCS’s  frigid atmosphere and frighting presence.  The iron bars around the three balconies and large metal classroom doors project “do not enter, you’ll be locked in forever.”

Walking around HCS’s surroundings plants cover the ground, however, dead, shriveled pedals cover the walk way.  As a student walking to class, this reminds me of how I’m not going to see the living beauty around me because once inside the windowless classrooms, no sunlight enters. The atmosphere of this HSC is depressing and appears lifeless in the artificial light.  My enthusiasm and cheerful attitude eludes as I approach my classroom, thus causing a lack of attention and focus during my courses.

In contrast to expressing a strong discontent to The Schmid College of Science and Technology, I am highly satisfied with the faculty members that work in HSC. The opportunities provided to undergraduate students interested in research are high-ranking, because the opportunity prepares science majors with proficient techniques and experience within the laboratory and field.  The HSC requires updated technology and advanced instruments to foster professional excellence, because the mediocrity of the HSC does not fit the professional approach of the faculty, colleagues, and students. I appreciate the motivated and dedicated professors at HSC, however, the negative drawbacks of The Schmid College of Science & Technology out-weight the advantage of undergraduate research opportunities.

To perhaps offset the negative drawbacks, the development of a new science and technology building in 2018 should start construction this upcoming summer in 2014 to promote Chapman’s new building developments in a positive connotation instead of demoted implications associated with the construction of the performing arts center.

Chapman University officially broke ground for the  Musco Center for the Arts on September 6, 2012, and more than a year later there still appears to be a massive dirt hole. The impeding impression on how long it takes to complete the Musco Center for the Arts, implies the construction on this new building is discontinued. To heighten once lowered opinions on Chapman University’s expanding establishments, the science and technology center should begin fabrication on designs immediately and push to build by summer 2014. The establishment of a new science and technology center for Fall 2014 would authorize the lack of construction labor for the performing arts center and prove Chapman University follows through with what is stated in terms of new developments.

As a surprise to the Chapman community, an earlier start on the construction for the science and technology center would lead to cheerfulness and satisfaction for individuals involved in science this new school year (2014-2015).  Furthermore, the earlier that construction begins on the new science and technology center, the more likely science majors will achieve greater academic advancements at Chapman University.

New Science and Technology Center

With a new science and technology center in fall 2014, current students (freshman and sophomores) could experience redesigned teaching laboratories that could promote problem-based learning grounded in real world scenarios rather than prescribed, cookbook lab exercises.  The newest technological advances within classrooms along with an updated exterior structure of the new building could unify Chapman’s campus.

A new complex with modernized research laboratories, technologically sophisticated classrooms, and energy efficient design features associated with energy, sustainability, and efficiency can elevate Chapman University towards additional titles and higher rankings in news reports and magazines. The extra attention may draw more extraordinary students, thus allowing Chapman University to demote Loyola Marymount University and Santa Clara University from their standings and prompt Chapman University to attain a superior standing.

I hope this letter influences discussions about taking immediate action and advancing the science and technology center developmental plans this upcoming summer in 2014. The earlier the development on strengthening and improving the science department, the sooner Chapman University’s ranking in various magazines and new reports will appear as number one.

Thank you for your consideration and time,

Kristin Gabriel

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