Since we were kids, our neighbors, parents and other authority figures have been telling us to turn the volume down on our music. We can go ahead and add UNF to that list if the Faculty Affairs Committee continues to get its way.
For those who have noticed the increasing lack of weekday events on the Green and other outdoor areas of campus, you can thank an existing amplified sound ordinance that seemingly prohibits anything louder than a soft whisper while classes are in session.
The latest revision to the sound ordinance policy submitted by the Faculty Affairs Committee states, “Amplified sound will be permitted on the Green or any outdoor space adjacent to classroom buildings Monday through Thursday between noon and 1:30 p.m., no more frequently than three times a semester. Events involving amplified sound may also be held any time Friday and Saturday after 3:50 p.m. and any time on Sunday.”
In case you missed that, it does in fact say no more than an hour-and-a-half, three times a semester.
For a university that is desperately trying to revamp its image from a commuter school – even going so far as to construct a new Student Union, plaza and amphitheater at the cost of $50 million – this sure is a dubious detour in strategy.
We were under the impression from words and actions of the powers-that-be that the whole idea of spending all this money was to legitimize UNF as a destination school.
The sound ordinance as it is proposed couldn’t be more contradictory to the idea of an on-campus amphitheater, and it already causes the Green to be little more than a place for organizations to air agendas on folding tables and students to sun themselves between classes.
If UNF is primed to take the proverbial next step as a university, it needs to be more campus-oriented and not a place to which students drive, battle to find a parking spot, rush to class, then sprint back to their cars immediately after.
Whether certain faculty members like it or not, one of the most important parts of the college experience isn’t found in a classroom; it’s in networking and socializing with like-minded peers and developing skills that can’t be found in a book.
Yes, in-class instruction is vital, and it’s what we’re paying for as students, but it can’t be the only thing the university offers.
UNF severely lacks a sense of community and school spirit, and this sound ordinance will ensure things stay that way. One or two events each week, though they might be noisy at times, do little to disrupt the overall learning experience.
When students enter a busy office environment, complete silence is rare, so why is it absolutely necessary on campus?
Does a loud event bring recurring Animal House flashbacks? This is simply a case of sticking to the status quo and fearing change.
By loosening restrictions on amplified sound on campus, it wouldn’t open the door to a party school atmosphere with rock music, dancing or other Satanic misdeeds. Rather it would help create a learning community that celebrates art, culture and diversity in an environment students can be proud to be a part of.