Naropa University has quite a bit of property across the Boulder, Colorado area. This includes three campuses and Naropa’s student housing community, Snow Lion. So, let’s go into each of the campuses and talk a little about each of them.
Naropa’s Arapahoe Campus on 2130 Arapahoe Ave is the main campus for Naropa University. It houses a great deal of the undergraduate and graduate degree work and yet, it is the least accessible campus of them all. The buildings on Naropa’s property are 2110 Arapahoe Avenue, the Administration Building, the Lincoln Building, the Allen Ginsburg Library, the Sycamore Building and various other buildings across the property of the Arapahoe campus.
The Administration Building
This building includes Student Auxillary Services (i.e. Financial Aid and the Registrar), Admissions, Student Life and Human Resources, as well as a computer lab, a piano room, the offices for Student Life Programming and the Student Centre (not to be confused with the Student Lounge, which is in the Sycamore building).
The Allen Ginsberg Library
The Allen Ginsberg Library was named after Allan Ginsberg, one of the initial teachers and resident poets at Naropa University. He was also a follower of Chogyam Trungpa until the very end, so naturally, that was enough to justify naming the library after him. Never mind the fact that he was a proud, card carrying member of NAMbLA, the North American Man-Boy Love Association and defended pedophilia. This is irrelevant because what is really important is dedication to the guru, and besides – wasn’t Chogyam Trungpa a sexual predator and didn’t Osel Tendzin knowingly infect men in the Shambhala community with HIV?
But anyway, the Allen Ginsberg Library has a very limited collection of books and their library’s collection has outgrown the space in the actual library. While there are ways that this could be fixed (such as dedicating rooms at the other campuses for library space), no efforts have been made to remedy the situation of lacking space at the library. This is due to the simple fact that the library is not a priority at Naropa. After all, there is no cash in it so naturally, there is no reason why the people running Naropa University would be interested in expanding their library.
The Naropa Green
The Naropa Green is a large outdoor space that is used by Naropa University. Now, the fact of the matter is that Naropa University spends a lot of money maintaining the grass, trees and flowers on the campus. I can honestly tell you that Naropa’s campus is beautiful but the fact of the matter is that the money would be better used trying to improve the quality of the education and bringing the campus buildings up to accessibility standards.
The Naropa Green has four coloured flags that are commonly seen throughout the Naropa campuses. These same flags are also just outside of the Lincoln building.
The Lincoln Building has the President’s office, 5 classrooms (including Lincoln Lecture Hall and Shambhala Hall), the copy room and ROOT office. It is extended further out to include the Performing Arts Centre, several different offices and the Naropa Cafe. The Lincoln Building is also the least accessible, as it has no elevators or wheelchair lifts. The ramp on the side of the Lincoln building has a sign that says that it should not be used for people in wheelchairs. Even though the door near the Performing Arts Centre is at ground level, the fact of the matter is that not too far after passing by PAC, a student will encounter stairs that would make further travel much less possible.
Performing Arts Centre (PAC)
The Performing Arts Centre is used for several events, including Shambhala Day and New Student Orientation for undergraduate students. It is a fairly large hall and it is adjacent to the Naropa Cafe so they can cater at the meetings. It has a fairly large stage at the front of the stage but Naropa University has the capability to set up a stage at the East side of PAC.
There is a Meditation Hall in the Lincoln Campus. There is a meditation hall at each campus at Naropa, so this is not surprising. However, what I found interesting was the fact that they have a copy of the Code of Conduct posted in the meditation hall. There are several gomdens, zafus and meditation cushions, as well as a meditation bell. All of the meditation halls are outfitted like the one at the Boulder Shambhala Centre. If you have done a Shambhala Training (and I know this as I have done five of them), you will see a number of familiar elements up on the meditation hall’s platform.
One thing I would like to add that is very interesting is the fact that in this picture to the left, you will see that Naropa University is soliciting donations for incense used in meditation. That’s right, they have not skimmed enough money from the students through tuition and fees, they need more for incense… That is just sad but it is part of what makes me so angry about Naropa University. For all of the tuition increases and all the money that students pay to Naropa, where is it all going that they cannot buy incense on their own and not have to ask for donations? One can only wonder where all that money is going.
I know that Naropa was affluent enough under the last financial leadership to buy the properties for Snow Lion, Nalanda and Paramita, so I can only wonder what is happening to the money that Naropa gets from student tuition…
Lincoln GalleryThe halls and display cases in the Lincoln Building are used by Naropa University. Naropa University showcases several different art shows in the Lincoln Gallery at any given time and the Lincoln Gallery changed every couple of months. It is unknown to the authors of this website at this time what the criterion are for having one’s work included in the Lincoln Gallery. However, if someone on the inside knows what the Lincoln Gallery’s criterion are for artist shows, I would love to hear it.
In front of the building, there is a set of stairs and those lead to the “Maitri Rooms”, which are used by a number of different educational programs including Education and Psychology programs. These rooms are locked so that people who want to use it for other reasons or to use the skills that they learned in their classes that teach about Maitri. It is very interesting considering that Naropa is not interested in teaching it’s students skills that they can practice once they leave Naropa University. In case you did not know, Maitri is the Buddhist concept of loving-kindness and is one of the cornerstone teachings at Naropa University. Right now, it is unknown to me what is actually done in these rooms…
Sycamore Hall is the location of the Naropa Writing Centre, the Student Lounge (not to be confused with the Student Centre) and the Bookstore. The Student Lounge at Sycamore Hall has a few chairs for relaxation, along with a hallway full of clothes, books and other assorted goodies that the students no longer need. This is called “the Free Box”.
The Bookstore sells a variety of things, from the textbooks that you need for your classes to school clothing, snacks and of course, yoga mats. However, I am unsure if the bookstore here is open, as they recently had Boulder Book Store start acting as Naropa University’s official bookstore. Given the fact that they have awful customer service, it is a match made in hell – no one should use the Boulder Book Store as they are not customer focused, but profit-focused.
The Little HouseThe Little House is where the Interdisciplinary Studies and Traditional Eastern Office chairs have their offices. I really do not know what else, if anything, the Little House is used for. But it is a fairly small structure, so there is not much else that this place could be used for… but it does look like there is a basement in this building.
2110 Arapahoe Avenue
2110 Arapahoe Avenue is the location of facilities and security for Naropa, as well as a variety of offices for psychology faculty and some of the staff. 2110 Arapahoe Avenue is the building right next to the westbound bus stop for the JUMP.
The Naropa GreenhouseThere is a greenhouse, which is primary used by the Environmental Studies students but I do have to say that this is a fairly small greenhouse, when you consider the cost of a Naropa education. After all, how is it that students can pay $25,000 and upwards per year at Naropa but they cannot have as much resources as the students at schools where they would have to pay less?
Even though Snow Lion is it’s own structure, I feel that it bears mentioning under the Arapahoe Campus, given it’s proximity. Snow Lion is the student housing community from Naropa University and is required for students who have less than 30 credit hours or are under 21 years of age. For the students who are not required to reside at Snow Lion, they can still do so. These students are referred to by Naropa University as “Open Housing Students”, whether or not they choose to live in Snow Lion and apply for their own housing there.
From what I have heard from Snow Lion residents, it is very difficult for someone to study at Snow Lion due to the noise that goes on at this community. Furthermore, there is a lack of any on-site cafeteria like most other Universities have. This corresponds with the fact that Naropa University does not have a campus meal plan. The Naropa Cafe offers one but it is totally optional and not available on the weekends or during any time that the campus is closed.
The Nalanda Campus is at 6287 Arapahoe Avenue and mainly deals with Performing and Visual Arts, though many music and aikido classes are held here. This is a two story building with no elevator, which is the second most inaccessible building in Naropa’s collection of buildings.
The Paramita Campus at 3285 30th St is mainly for the graduate psychology programs. It is the most desolate Naropa campus and the least welcoming, as you can see in the image to the left. Unlike the other two campuses, the classrooms at Paramita are named after the Paramitas of Buddhism. There is very little in the way of student life at the Paramita Campus, when you compare it to the Arapahoe and Nalanda campuses.