It’s nice to see that the University of Arizona has shut off 14 campus fountains to save money. The fountains are superfluous for now, though they may be in demand once the deadly heat approaches.
I see no issue with scrapping the fountains, and I may be ostracized for saying this, but it doesn’t seem like a good idea to discontinue the re-sodding of grass on the UA Mall. Though it’s important to be frugal during tough economic times, the Facilities Management should remember that aesthetics play a large role in enrolling new freshmen. Yes, it’s a shallow factor in choosing a college, but many people appreciate going to an attractive institution of some sort. Many UA undergrads love the “East Coast feel of the brick buildings.”
As someone who grew up in the redwoods and lived through seven months of rain a year, I loved seeing the scattered green patches across the UA campus on my first visit. I knew it wasn’t going to be as green as northern California, but the few plots of green land convinced me that nature was of some importance to the university, and that I had a natural place to escape when the cacti just didn’t make the cut.
It may be a wild assumption to say that some students will decide against going to the UA due to the lack of even artificial greenery, but it’s very possible that someone will be turned off by the changing priorities of the UA. Disagree if you will. I agree that teachers are more important than aesthetics, but it’s of more importance than most people realize.