Erik Opsal, of the Hippie Perspective, Students for Obama campaign and the Daily Cardinal, wrote an opinion piece on why old Ogg Hall should just be used to house those we turned away. This part from Paul Evans really deserved a scoff:
According to UW-Madison Housing Director Paul Evans, the university did consider saving one of the old Ogg towers, but eventually decided against it.
“It just isn’t a practical option,” Evans said. “The reasons why we wanted to tear down Ogg still exist. We’d still have to spend a lot of money to get that building to be where we want it to be.” However, with a chronic lack of housing for incoming freshman, keeping at least one tower open—which would provide enough housing for those who need it until new dorms are built—seems like common sense.
When he says, "where we want it to be" and "up to code" don't seem to be synonymous here. Yes, Ogg is a poorly designed, ratty sort of building. Yet, when I lived there a mere three years ago, it certainly served it's purpose and was able to continue serving it's purpose for some time to come.
UW-Milwaukee has a similar problem with housing, but it's because of lack of money, it's because of lack of space. They just can't build anywhere. We have two towers of empty...nothing that have been used for practice drills by the Firefighters and police officers. So why couldn't we use it to house paying students?
The Herald Ed Board has already criticized the actions of our Republican lawmakers for attempting to nix the Lakeshore plans from the budget, but UW Housing really deserves the blame on this one. We actually didn't have housing issues last year because Smith added an additional 600 beds while Old Ogg was still up and running. Now, they replace Ogg Hall with a new, smaller building and we just decide to go back to shortages because the building is inefficient?
If we knew what they WANT to replace and what absolutely NEEDS to be replaced, then perhaps we could better evaluate housing's decision. Until then, I'm glad people at the Cardinal, including their Ed Board, are finally tackling important issues rather than shaking fingers at UW athletes and giving the thumbs up to religious dietary options.
Edit: I'd link to those Ed Board opinion, but they don't seem to be on the Cardinal Website...a search for "Daily Cardinal Editorial Board" renders "three results," but only shows today's article. Come on!