Students at Mississippi State University are no stranger to the construction and new additions on campus. However, with changes always happening around campus, many students also notice when issues arise that are inconvenient or impossible to avoid.
Student voices and Campus Services have unknowingly been working towards the same goal.
Campus Services is responsible for new construction projects and maintaining all buildings and landscaping. Multiple projects are in the works in the offices of Campus Services, like making changes to the Drill Field.
A previous Reflector opinion article detailed changes the university should make to the Drill Field to overall better the students' experience when using the paths. Campus Services Executive Director Saunders Ramsey said the article verified the teams' plans that were already in process.
"We are looking at connection points; we are looking at how we can enhance outdoor seating and how we can take a look at how students pass through the Drill Field," Ramsey said.
The student experience is something Campus Services takes very seriously. In addition to the Drill Field modifications, other projects are going on around campus, such as making a plaza in front of the YMCA building and the Colvard Student Union and adding speed bumps and stop signs to make MSU a more pedestrian-friendly campus.
Additionally, the university is constantly expanding to include new buildings, and construction for a new kinesiology building is underway. Ramsey said the precise placement of buildings around MSU is because of the students' needs, like where the facility is located based on student walk times, or if it is put on the edge of campus where it is not convenient for students.
The addition or renovation to things on campus cannot just happen overnight. It is a process that takes many hours of planning and preparation. For instance, the first step to constructing a new plaza in front of the YMCA building is blocking the road off from vehicle traffic. This allows Campus Services to begin preparing to build a safe outdoor space for students to sit and enjoy.
Some students like Hannah Moroney, a senior communication major from New Albany, Mississippi, understand that making changes takes preparation.
"Some accidents happen, like the pedestrian incident in front of the band hall, that causes for automatic change. However, big changes take time," Moroney said. "I feel that the students' needs are always trying to be met with the building of buildings or even the speed bumps."
However, other students disagree. Janna Carnathan, a junior kinesiology major from Mooreville, Mississippi, feels many things about campus are done to save the university from backlash.
"I feel the speed bumps were added to show the university is just trying to fix a problem after something bad has already happened," Carnathan said. "They put the speed bumps there to act like they are helping.
Campus Services Director Ramsey said that strategies like speed bumps are being talked about to make the campus safer for pedestrians.
With all these opinions floating around campus, some students find it hard to form their own opinion because they lack the information. Campus Services says all changes to campus have the student experience in mind.
"Students need to understand that we understand that campus should be more than the classroom you sit in, the place you live or the place you eat," Ramsey said. "There is a social interaction that happens. We are not telling you (that) you have to interact, but you do it naturally. We want people to feel welcome and safe in all our outdoor and indoor areas."