East Campus Downfall


Photo courtesy of Chris Estrada

Student demonstrators protested the East Campus Development project during a speech on sustainability from Pescovitz on Oct. 4.

D’Juanna Lester, Arts Reporter

In case you haven’t heard, East Campus Development has been a huge issue on campus lately. For some reason, East Campus Development is an idea that Oakland University wants to invest in. The reason, of course, is profit.

The gist of this project is that OU’S East Campus Development will ruin public lands and lease campus land to private entities for the purpose of a “boutique hotel.”

What could this possibly do for students? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. No part of this project is intended for students. 

OU is a college, not a strip mall. The purpose of any college should be focusing on the benefit and wellbeing of the students, not to be a playground for the rich. Colleges are intended for students to come and grow and receive an education. 

Money and initiatives should be put into the students and their needs, so a project of this caliber that does nothing for students should absolutely not move forward. If anything, this project has the capacity to hurt students. Frankly, it’s unacceptable. 

Traffic is bad enough as it is, let alone if OU goes down this path. We’re notorious for horrific traffic and parking issues — that’s how it is now. Imagine what it will look like when there’s a whole flourishing hotel. Have fun getting to class! 

Hypocrisy at its finest is on full display here. For a campus that puts so much emphasis on how “sustainable” it is, why invest in this project?

Even discounting the issue of the trees, there’s no way to frame this project as sustainable. It feels like a monetization over sustainability issue. 

If everything else wasn’t enough, safety is a big concern. Strangers with zero affiliation to OU will be present on campus.

In a year where on-campus safety seems to be an afterthought, I can’t believe an idea this unsafe is even up for debate. Well, I can believe it — that’s the worst part.

We’re struggling with safety as it is, and campus policies like smoking and firearms won’t even apply to this grand hotel idea. OUPD’s jurisdiction over the leased land will be revoked if the East Campus Development goes through. How does anyone think this is a good idea?

There’s no way that this plan could benefit OU in any form. How is anyone supposed to guarantee the revenue this project could gain would go where it should — to the students?

Students should be the focus of a college campus, but our administration continues to show how little they care. Students are not a priority, and our money is going to the wrong places.

This project cannot go through. There is no benefit to this development. The only thing to come from this project would be harm. Safety, sustainability and everything I’ve talked about would go out the window. 

We have to say no to East Campus Development. OU’s Student Congress has started a petition to oppose the project, and I encourage everyone to sign it.