Viewpoint: Weber State, 20 years from now

Last semester, Weber State University hosted the National Conference for Undergraduate Research, and students from all around the country were invited to visit our campus and enjoy a few days in the mountains of Utah. It was an eye-opening experience to be stopped on the way to class in the mornings by groups of students from Ohio or Texas, asking for directions to the nearest hiking trail or looking for someone to take a picture with the singularly imposing Mount Ben Lomond in the background.

As we struggle with the mundane, daily concerns of college life, it can be easy to ignore the beauty of the WSU campus and its mountainside setting, but we are privileged to attend a great school, and a growing school, and an educational institution with a bright future. It isn’t “just Weber,” and it’s only getting better.

As a staff, our hopes are always for a better WSU and a vision of what it can be, if we as students, staff and the surrounding community contribute to its growth. Our hopes are that, 20 years from now, Weber State University will be . . .

. . . fully carbon-neutral. According to WSU Facilities Management, the current plan has the university becoming carbon-neutral by the year 2050. That’s a great goal, but our hopes are that technological innovations and a strengthened environmental push from the student community allow WSU to lead the way among Utah universities to a greener state.

. . . the easternmost stop on a new TRAX rail line coming from the Ogden Transit Center. Linking WSU more conveniently to public transportation would not only help solve the environmental issues of students solo-driving cars every day to campus, but would also open up the school enrollment to more students from southern Davis County and Salt Lake communities.

. . . the most beautifully landscaped school in the state. It already is, and 20 years from now, it will continue to be.

. . . a more fully embraced (or even central) part of the Ogden community. Fifteen years ago, Boise State University was much like WSU is now. It was primarily a commuter school and simply located in Boise, rather than being a major part of it. Now, BSU is a national name (owing in large part to the success of its football team) with more prestigious degrees and a larger population of students living on campus. Citizens of Boise know they live in a great college town and proudly wear the blue and orange. Our hope is that 20 years from now, WSU will receive the same treatment from Ogden (and if fewer students coming to class wearing BYU and U of U attire, and a lot more purple, that would be an added benefit).

. . . an academic institution which endorses more online/alternative options for students in a faster-paced, more mobile world.

. . . considering building more buildings and campuses like the very successful Davis campus, perhaps in Salt Lake or Utah counties, or even extending down to southern Utah.

. . . a school that requires more community service from its students. To become a greater part of the Ogden community, students should be giving back to it. The Community Involvement Center does an excellent job of finding service opportunities for students, but could always use more effort from the student body.