The Testing Center moved from its location in the library to Synergy Park North 2 in a unilateral move by administration without student comment.
Located next to Northside, SP/N2 is a 20-minute walk from the library. Because of a lack of communication from the administration, students don’t know how much the move, renovation and new equipment will cost, if Comet cabs will run between the library and new location or exactly why the new Center is needed.
The administration may have a good reason for the relocation, but they hadn’t expressed it to the student body. Only after inquiring did I find that the new location will have more seating and better equipment than the previous Center. Neither of these reasons require the Testing Center moving as far away as SP/N2, and both of them could’ve been explained ahead of time.
In my personal experience, the Testing Center has never been full and the line hasn’t been longer than a few people. All of the tests are online, so I’m unsure why the university would need new computers if the current ones are able to load webpages relatively quickly.
It is wasteful to renovate space at SP/N2 when there is already a functional testing center directly across from the Student Union. Considering the cost of moving and the length of time the Testing Center will remain there, it doesn’t seem prudent to put the new place so far from the rest of campus. It hampers campus walkability and makes accessibility harder.
The relocation seems ridiculous when framed by the fact that golf carts are needed to ferry students to the new location for the indefinite future. A testing center far from the center of campus and without provided transportation would pose a problem for individuals with disability and anyone in a Texas summer.
In the last several years, UTD has done a good job with centralizing campus around the mall, but the Testing Center relocation seems a move backwards in that effort. A condensed, centralized location promotes accessibility and walkability, while a sprawling campus will only encourage more Comet Cabs and more students using cars to get around the university.
I wouldn’t be writing this opinion piece if the university had explained their decision prior to the move. As it is, there doesn’t seem to be a reason for the change of location. The administration should have had a dialogue with students before moving a key part of campus a mile away.