Editorial: Editorial: Music department should be proactive for renovations

Despite the many renovations going on throughout campus, the Fine Arts Building, aka “FAB,” is not looking so fabulous these days. In all honesty, between the leaks, cramped conditions and infrastructure dating back to 1961 when the facility was built, the Fine Arts Building is more aptly described as decrepit.

Staff and students have been forced to use rooms as small as janitorial closets, and there are about twice as many people on staff as the building was constructed for. Although the university says they are starting the quiet phase of renovation in July (the proposal was written in 2008), the quiet phase goes on until there is about half the money needed to renovate, and could go on for an extended period of time.

We believe, and doubt many would disagree, that the fine and performing arts are crucial to a community and its culture. As Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “Without music, life would be an error.”

Although MU has requested $80 million for the renovations from state funding this year, the project has been already been a “priority” for the past few years. They seem to mean they know it’s bad by calling it a priority, but they just are not planning on doing anything about it right now.

In our opinion, it’s not such a surprise that the fine arts have been shafted into the dark and crumbly areas of campus. When the economy is suffering, the arts tend to be the first to move down on the list of importance. We want this to change.

We know there are countless areas of the university asking for funding, and that our professors and staff remain some of the most underpaid in the country. But as MU likely knows, infrastructure is an important front door for people to want to attend or teach here.

Although we can encourage the state to allocate more money for the Performing Arts Center, even those pushing for it most have cited it as a lost cause. Rather, we want to encourage accountability for the students and staff in the arts. Host fundraisers, bother alumni and do whatever you have to do to.

Campus organizations have raised enough money to get what they want before, and surely the department can take some of the pressure off the state if they’re truly trying. There are private donors out there who just need to be asked. So, if renovations are what you need, don’t wait for them to happen. Be active and make them happen.

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