A recent poll put out by the Undergraduate Student Government has found 86 percent of students are unaware the big weird dip in the ground outside the Healey library is actually a courtyard.
The poll was put out by the Campus Community Affairs committee within the student senate, as part of an initiative to raise awareness about the UMass Boston campus not being as terrible as many students claim. CCA found many of the poll’s results satisfactory—with only 67 percent of students off-put by Sodexo food (a 12 percent decrease from last year), and a whopping 73 percent of students aware that USG sometimes sends out polls they would like students to fill out—but the lack of awareness regarding the school’s courtyard is something they say they definitely hope to amend.
CCA chair Farrin Khan spoke of the importance of such polls: “it’s important to us that students know everything this school has to offer—that this campus is more than four brick squares built on an abandoned parking garage next to one and a half science buildings and two cardboard dorms. … We have a courtyard that’s all concrete on an inconvenient slope in the middle of what once may have been a highly trafficked area.”
Speaking about the campaign CCA has planned for the courtyard, senator Mitchell Cameron explained: “We’ve got a lot going on for this courtyard. Starting next month we’re gonna start tabling each week, and we have also begun reaching out to the four student clubs which are actually technically active about holding events there.”
Student Senate Speaker and former CCA Chair Michelle Martens spoke of her time in the committee, noting that advocating for underutilized spaces was most of what they did.
“The corner stairwells in Healey are a great example of such a campaign's working. During my time we also talked about doing the same thing for the outdoor seating area on the third floor of Wheatley, but none of us could ever prove it existed.”
Even as CCA members discuss how to raise awareness of the courtyard, there are some who doubt the poll’s effectiveness, as one student who is always angry about numbers complained that, “you can’t tell anything from this poll because only five students submitted answers.”
Khan responded to the student’s claims, stating, “while this may not have been an ideal turnout for a poll like this, we have to work with the data we get.”