• Joel Brown

    Staff Writer

    Portrait of Joel Brown. An older white man with greying brown hair, beard, and mustache and wearing glasses, white collared shirt, and navy blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey background.

    Joel Brown is a staff writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. He’s written more than 700 stories for the Boston Globe and has also written for the Boston Herald and the Greenfield Recorder. Profile

  • Cydney Scott


    cydney scott

    Cydney Scott has been a professional photographer since graduating from the Ohio University VisCom program in 1998. She spent 10 years shooting for newspapers, first in upstate New York, then Palm Beach County, Fla., before moving back to her home city of Boston and joining BU Photography. Profile

Comments & Discussion

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There are 4 comments on BU Unveils Dramatic, Fossil Fuel–Free Center for Computing & Data Sciences

  1. So excited for this new building!

    As a student who will likely spend a lot of time in this building, I’m really curious to see what study spaces are available, other than the large ground floor open space. I’ve always though BU could use an extra study space or two.

    I’m really curious to see how the multidisciplinary aspect of the building will shape the use of study spaces — it would be really cool to see students of all different majors working side by side! I’ll be holding office hours in here too, it would be cool to point students to resources in multiple different departments within the same building.

  2. While the new data science building is great and all, there are other issues that Boston University could have, and perhaps should have, addressed with a portion of the money they put towards the new building. For example, maybe scholarships for lower-income students. BU prides itself for being a diverse school, with each incoming student body being more and more racially and ethnically diverse than the last. But in other areas, specifically economic diversity, BU is lacking. The median family income for BU students is $141,000. This is about twice as large as the US median family income, and places the vast majority (about 61%) of BU students in the top 20%. Only about 5% of students here come from the bottom 20%. The money that was used to make the data science building look ultra-modern ultimately could have gone towards supporting those students at such a pricy institution, and possibly even supporting all BU students, since we are battling a nearly 4.25% tuition hike. Yes, class disparities are a huge problem on college campuses everywhere, due to the nature of higher education requiring economic capital in order to receive institutional capital, but that is not an excuse for not combating these economic issues on BU’s campus.

    The money also could have gone towards paying unhappy and un-unionized graduate students more than what they’ve been getting paid. Some grad students report putting in double the amount of time a week that their stipend accounts for, and others report making nearly $20,000 less than what is considered a living wage in the Greater Boston area. Instead of putting in hundreds of millions of dollars towards economic capital, BU could have easily worked on building and keeping the relationships that some might consider the backbone of this institution. Besides, in the long run, if grad alumni are happy with BU, and make enough money in some years, BU could and would receive sizable donations from said alumni that would go back into bettering the school, showing the importance of social capital.

    Lastly, this money that went towards building an incredibly modern piece of infrastructure could have effortlessly gone towards revamping the older parts of BU a bit. It could have been smaller projects, like fixing the crooked sidewalk along Bay State (which is directly behind the data science building), or maybe towards refurbishing CAS, which some students have said resembles an old high school. The point is that the data science building forms a sharp contrast against the older, ancient buildings with their own issues just down the street from it.

  3. This building is an eyesore and a visual disgrace. It’s out of keeping with the campus, both shores of the Charles, and the city as a whole. In other forums, comments like “it makes Boston City Hall look attractive” are common. It comes across as an monumental expression of someone’s ego.

    The green aspects are great – but they should have been paired with a building that doesn’t scream “look at me” to every commuter on Storrow Drive. It’s stain on President Brown’s legacy that, unfortunately, we’re stuck with permanently.

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