Hoof Prints: U of M one of the ‘ugliest’

By Olivia Novotny

Pony Express

prints1120uofm-oliviaeditTravel+Leisure magazine recently rated the University of Minnesota one of America’s ugliest college campuses. The magazine based its list off of the Princeton Review and the student forum, unigo.com. It commented on the brutalist-style buildings, saying that no great architect could ever fix them.

Ivan Spencer, the writer who rated the colleges, said the campus is uninspired and too spread out. With a student population of more than 50 thousand, it is a fairly large campus.

“The only feature that could make it look more industrial would be the addition of smokestacks,” Spencer said of the Coffman Memorial Union.

The truth is that almost every campus has an ugly side. Landscaping is just a window dressing. Students should be more concerned about other factors, such as the educational programs or safety of the campus, not the style or architecture.

“While it may not necessarily be the most aesthetically appealing campus in the country, what matters most to me is the quality of education,” said Stillwater Area High School senior Thomas Elert, who plans on attending the U of M. “The Carlson School of Management, which I’ve been accepted to, is hard to beat.”

Some colleges boast high profile, elegant campuses, but these are also some of the most expensive in the country. The University of Notre Dame is known for having the most beautiful campus in America, but it costs a total of $60 thousand a year to go there, $44 thousand alone for tuition.

“Affordability is also a high priority for me and I feel the U is a very acceptable price,” Elert said. “I’d rather have lower tuition than a few extra statues. I wouldn’t really say it’s ugly anyway. They have a beautiful new stadium and a variety of historical buildings. Overall I think it is a great school.”

Luke Bromback, a freshman at the U of M, agrees, saying that he likes the architecture of most of the buildings.

“The campus is beautiful with a high variety different architectural styles and different layouts,” Bromback said. “And after walking every bit of the campus, the pretty spots definitely outweigh the
uglier ones.”

There is a lot of construction going on at the U of M, and Bromback admits “it is a little annoying.” But he believes the end result will be worth it.

On the whole, students do not agree with the rating of ugliest campus and still believe that the U of M is a great school that is affordable and provides many educational opportunities.


This piece is provided by Hoof Prints, a partnership between the Stillwater Gazette and The Pony Express, Stillwater Area High School’s student newspaper.