This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A rant about benches

Two or three years ago I complained about the many commemorative benches that were littering the Saint Joseph's College campus to Ernie Mills, at that time the president of the college. For example, how often do you think people actually sit in the bench at the bottom of this picture?
Mills was rather proud of the benches. He explained that they were a fund raiser. People could get their commemorative bench by donating $2000. The bench would cost $1000 and the school would add $1000 to the endowment. I was appalled, and I think President Mills understood I was appalled.

There are a few benches that are actually used. This one just outside of the Core Building is used by smokers. (The white stuff in the picture is steam, not smoke.) For some reason they never put any by the other doors where smokers might use them. Instead they put then along the walkway where they are a navigational hazard to walkers, joggers, and bikers.
 
The greatest concentration of these benches is in the grotto area, where there are 25 of them. Fortunately, you cannot see any of them in this picture of the grotto with snow. Someone had the sense to keep them away.
There are 14 in the area north of the Evans Arts and Science Building, some shown in the first picture. There are 15 around the fountain (where they actually look nice, though 15 is a bit much), two in front of the chapel, and ten in the Core Building Plaza. That makes a total of 66, and that does not include several benches that are not commemorative benches were put in place because people might actually use them. (Each of those 66 benches has a little commemorative plaque, but in my quest to catalog plaques around Rensselaer, I will skip these.)
 I did find one bench that actually has an interesting plaque on it:
There have been no addition to the collection of benches for several years. Maybe the fund raisers have found a better way to raise money.

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