By Erik Machuca
When Elans walk through campus there is something in the air and it’s not romanticism.
All East Los Angeles Collegestudents see is construction, construction, construction.
ELAC is however making improvements to the campus year round.
Most recently, the multi-level F7 building, the Helen Miller Bailey Library and the parking structure on Collegian Avenue are some of the examples of work being done.
Further construction is currently commencing in the center of the school between the E7 Technology building and the library.
But among all this construction one thing lacks that cannot come in the form of any building or structure.
Romanticism. Can romanticism be something that can be built? Well, no, but it can be grown.
It can be grown through the creation of natural grass landscapes.
Now I am not asking for a sudden, eco-friendly plan for the campus. I am asking for an open mall area of grass in the form of a central park.
Having a central grass area provides a more mellow space for students. Imagine you are on your break between classes and you have some free time.
Wouldn’t you like to ask that cute classmate to have lunch with you in an intimate space where the two of you could get to know each other better?
At the moment there are only closely crowded tables and benches around.
The availability of this open space would only add to the overall college experience.
Even if you are not the romantic type, a central grass area on campus could still have many benefits.
On a nice sunny day, there would be a comfortable space to lie back, listen to some music or read a book for class.
There would also be a setting to promote physical exercise and group activities.
Lastly, the creation of this focal spot would only add to the school’s aesthetic appeal among the newly constructed modern buildings.
It is true that ELAC does not have the campus size that larger four-year institutions have. However, this cannot be an excuse.
I have been to other local community colleges including Pasadena City College, Rio Hondo College and Cerritos College, and they all contain a central grass area.
It is also true that ELAC does not have the budget of a larger four-year institution.
At the same time, this also cannot be used as an excuse when there is constant construction taking place on campus.
In my three years at ELAC, not a semester has gone by without construction.
If there is money to raise new buildings, then there is money to grow new landscapes.
ELAC students are accustomed to change and creation.
With so much construction going on year round at ELAC, maybe Elans should hope the school’s next construction project is updating our landscapes around campus and letting romanticism grow.