Letter to the Editor


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To the editor:

In response to Larry Easley's letters, "River Campus plans are flawed," I'd like to point out that he is uninformed, obviously not an artists and just very negative. I resent the fact that he makes speculations about things he knows nothing about.

He asks, "Do you honestly think students taking music classes in the same area as art students will get some sort of artistic transfusion?" Well, yes I do. If he had bothered to get input from art students, he would know that artists are deeply affected and inspired by other forms of art. In fact, it would be easier to collaborate and exchange ideas with other artists, which is where art is headed in the 21st century.

He also seemed concerned that the art and music buildings and Rose Theatre would go unused. I find that hard to believe, since the dance department and other groups int he community have been trying to reserve space in Rose Theatre for years, and it is always unavailable. It also seems that when scheduling classes each semester, there is always some sort of spacing problem. I'm sure that the classrooms and offices in the buildings would be put to good use. In fact, as the art programs continue to grow and the River Campus becomes busy and crowded with professional and community interaction, the old art buildings and theaters would be a perfect place for students to work and experiment. But I'm jumping ahead.

A major concern people seem to have is the transportation problem. I think a "40-minute shuttle ride" is much more than an exaggeration, since it took me approximately seven minutes to drive from Dempster to the River Campus, and I did not speed. In fact, the whole problem is not much of a problem. There are college campuses all over the United States that are much bigger and more spread out than Southeast Missouri State University, and they have shuttle systems that work very well. The fact is the university is growing and expanding and running out of space. Any place we build a new visual and performing arts school is going to be a little bit out of the way.

As far as cost, that is even more difficult to speculate. The fact is it would not affect people in Cape Girardeau that much. The tax increase would be for the hotels. Ask yourself, "How often do I stay in a hotel in Cape Girardeau?" And how often does your choice of cities to visit depend on the tax your hotel charges? The small price the Cape Girardeau citizens pay will bring rewarding opportunities.

I do agree that there are many unanswered questions, but there are also many possible answers to those questions. I know that the university committees are reviewing all the possibilities before deciding on the best solutions.

As for the uninformed skeptics like Mr. Easley, I think they would benefit as much as the art students if the River Campus could help them become better informed about the arts and the ways in which they impact our society. In the long run, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives, and the River Campus would give students and every group in the community the art education and culture it needs to keep the university and Cape Girardeau leaping into the 21st century.


Cape Girardeau