The graduating class of 2010 hopes to leave its mark on campus by donating money to the restoration of UCSB’s iconic Storke Tower.
Senior class commissioner and fourth year sociology major Cristine Guzman said class representatives chose to donate to the tower because of its community symbolism. Storke Tower has suffered structural damage over the years, and the senior class wants to see it repaired.The decision to donate money to the university continues a tradition wherein the graduating class gives something back to their alma mater.
Guzman said the tower’s imperfections have affected student groups that operate in offices underneath Storke Tower, such as La Cumbre Yearbook, KCSB and the Daily Nexus.
“Structural deterioration of the building has led to problems for these groups, like leaky roofs,” Guzman said. “The structural damage has affected the work of student groups, and the closure of the tower has broken a unique UCSB experience. Storke Tower is an important campus monument that deserves to be preserved for future generations of Gauchos.”
With maintenance, it is possible that the tower would be reopened to public access, giving students and campus visitors a chance to use its upper observation deck—the highest steel and metal structure in the county. The graduating class plans to also fund work on the tower’s elevators so that visitors can reach the top without using stairs.
“The senior class of 2010 will be funding part of the restoration of Storke Tower,” Guzman said. “Exactly what aspect of the restoration the class will fund is still in negotiation, but ideally it would be something that enables students to once again enjoy access to the tower and observation deck safely.”
The 175 foot tower was constructed in 1969 and houses a massive 61 bell instrument known as a carillon. The bells are rung hourly all week, and concerts are performed on Sundays.
Co-editor of La Cumbre Yearbook Allison Capozzoli said she has experienced the damages to the building first hand.
“There are parts in the ceiling that leak,” Capozzoli said. “If you’re sitting under the leaks it’s extremely unfortunate.”
Guzman said she and others involved in the gift feel it’s their legacy as a class to contribute something worthwhile to the campus.
“Our contribution will be immortalized on a plaque to be displayed for everyone to remember,” Guzman said. “Giving towards this cause will help preserve an important symbol of our beautiful campus, and will then always be here for 2010 alumni to look back on and say, ‘we saved it.’”