Last week, a dedication ceremony at the former Lombardi Recreation Center honored Nevada basketball alumnus Ramon Sessions for his $1 million donation to help renovate Lombardi and turn it into a new practice facility for the Nevada basketball team. I’m wondering why I wasn’t consulted when administrators decided the former gym would be obtainable by a campus organization with a hefty donation from a prominent Nevada figure. If I had known, I would’ve provided my own calculated ideas about what new practical center, institution or facility could’ve replaced Lombardi.
If students had democratically voted on a new structure they surely would’ve gone for something like an In N’ Out Burger, a skatepark or a hostel for all the newly displaced fraternity men of Sigma Nu and SAE. However, new buildings need donors because they aren’t cheap. The following prominent Nevada people really dropped the ball on this opportunity, in my opinion. If anyone asked me what I think should’ve replaced Lombardi, I would’ve had some great ideas. Unfortunately, nobody did. Here’s to what could have been instead of more basketball courts:
The Joe Crowley Student Dispensary
Weed is legal in Nevada (if you didn’t know or haven’t been outside your front door to smell it yet), and many students are wondering when UNR will have a place to “4:20 blaze it” on campus in between classes. Joe Crowley, former UNR President and well-known legalization advocate, missed an opportunity to stick it to the Feds and open a dispensary right here at this taxpayer funded, land-grant, state institution where he could sell some Tier One strands.
Washoe “the Sign Language Monkey” Campus Zoo
Did you know the first monkey to ever learn sign language studied at UNR? Washoe was his name, and I say we should’ve built a zoo in his honor. Exhibits could’ve included the violent geese and swans around Manzanita Lake (who need to be caged before someone gets hurt), raccoons who eat garbage in my neighborhood and the endangered campus cigarette smokers.
Edmund J. Cain Hall 2
I’m sure whoever designed Cain Hall would like a do-over, and I’m sure Mr. Cain himself would prefer his name wasn’t on UNR students’ least favorite classroom building/dungeon. We could’ve built a new Cain Hall with more windows and fewer dead ends, and we could’ve kept the old one to serve as either a maze for architecture students to study or a haunted house around Halloween.
The Brian Kehoe Institute for Non-traditional Students
Brian Kehoe changed the way we think about how to do college at UNR. He sent the message that “If you want to take a gap decade and be a male model/actor/reality television star, you can, and you can still be the most popular ‘kid’ in school when you get back.” We should’ve built a monumental center for non-traditional students to honor his courage and perseverance.
The Peter Cvjetanovic Free Speech Center
A safe place with soundproof walls and free stress balls where you can scream as loud as you want about your social anxieties and your damn United States history professor who pretends like she can’t see your hand is raised when you obviously have a poignant comment to make about the good old days of post-Civil War reconstruction.
A New Parking Garage
Because we need more places to park, not more basketball courts.