As Lehigh enters a major transitional period, students have mixed feelings about the amount of construction on campus.
First-year students will experience their entire Lehigh careers with a campus under construction. Many first-years came to Lehigh without knowing that such a large campaign was about to commence. However, several members of the class of 2022 are supportive and understanding of this growth period for the university.
GO: The Campaign for Lehigh aims to expand Lehigh’s physical campus and the student body. Construction includes renovations to the University Center and Chandler-Ullman Hall, along with the building of the College of Health and new dorms.
Lindsey Seroka, ’22, is not overly concerned with the amount of construction on campus. She remembers being told about the Path to Prominence when visiting Lehigh and does not feel inconvenienced by the construction.
Seroka said while it is slightly unfair that she will not directly benefit from the campaign, there was bound to be a class that wouldn’t be able to reap the benefits of such a major expansion.
Elizabeth Tully, ’21, has been a tour guide at Lehigh since last semester. She places greater emphasis on the campaign and construction now, rather than briefly mentioning it as she did in the past.
“Last year I would touch on the new construction and mention the building of the new dorms,” Tully said. “This year, I emphasize the campaign and how much Lehigh will benefit from it as the construction is more apparent this semester when walking through campus.”
Holley Nitsberg, ’22, also toured Lehigh a number of times without knowledge of the university’s impending changes, though she is understanding of the process. She believes the campus aesthetic is interrupted by such work, but agrees with Seroka that realistically, one class would have to go through its college career surrounded by construction.
Nitsberg also sees how the future generations of students will appreciate the expansion.
Lena Weisman, ’22, also supports the school’s expansion. As a member of Student Senate, Weisman is well-versed on the campaign and understands its influence on the campus and students.
While she was not informed of the major construction plans during her four Lehigh tours, she does remember some construction had already begun. She said she wasn’t surprised by the presence of renovations on campus, as most schools she toured were undergoing similar changes.
“Lehigh was entering an expansion phase before starting my freshman year, but I didn’t necessarily understand the extent of the project until representatives from the GO campaign presented to the Student Senate earlier this semester,” Weisman said.
Weisman does not feel that the campaign is unfair. She said the tuition increase is not being put toward the campaign, but toward the hiring of new faculty. The university will increase its teaching staff to compensate for the growth of its student body. She also feels that as a first-year, she will be able to get use out of the new dorms.
However, this positive sentiment does not resound throughout the entire class of 2022.
Dani Slepak, ’22, finds that the construction hampers the elegance of Lehigh’s campus. Slepak toured Lehigh twice before coming and was not made aware of this huge project. She was initially attracted to Lehigh because of the beauty of the campus.
“The construction is so ugly, it’s not nice to look at and it will make less people want to come here,” Slepak said.