As the 2017-18 school year comes to a close at Rowan, now is the perfect time to reflect on the good and bad happenings on and around campus. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.
Unfortunately, this year was marked by the suicide of a Rowan student. Following this, questions were raised about accessibility and quality of mental health services at the Wellness Center. At the beginning of the fall semester, the Wellness Center implemented a 24-hour crisis hotline available to students.
This past week the Wellness Center has again come up in conversation for implementing a copay policy for services offered. Once again, accessibility of services is called into question.
With the continued expansion of Rowan University into the further reaches of Glassboro, pre-existing buildings have seen their share of hiccups along the way. In the early months of the 2017-18 school year, buildings such as 301 High St. and Victoria saw several power outages. Some of these lasted multiple days, requiring professors to hold classes in different buildings and conference rooms not fit for the size of their classes.
Another downside of increased expansion is a lack of parking for students. As Rowan builds more and more housing and enrollment rises, more cars are on campus. Commuters, as well as residents, all need places to park their cars. Several lots have been eliminated, such as the commuter floor at the top of the townhouse parking garage.
Expansion comes with its benefits, but done hastily without foresight can lead to trouble.
Rowan is ever-growing, and the impacts can be seen in the surrounding area. Various new businesses have been drawn to open up on Rowan Boulevard, including Playa Bowls, Cookie Munchers, Escape Room South Jersey and Liberty Virtual Reality Arcade. The partnership between Rowan and Nexus properties has led to a slew of new housing, most notably the Victoria apartments.
Rowan is also committed to keeping tuition low, at least compared to other colleges. Rowan President Ali Houshmand has pledged not to raise undergraduate tuition above the rate of inflation. According to Rowan Today, the Board of Trustees approved a tuition increase of 2.4 percent for 2017-2018, which is below inflation. Time will tell if this commitment holds.
Houshmand’s Hazardous Hot Sauce was released this past year, reflecting the president’s and university’s aims of making Rowan affordable. Proceeds from the sauce go to the Rowan Scholarship Fund for students in need of financial assistance.
Although Rowan is in a semi-quiet suburban town, the school continues to do a good job of providing on campus activities to keep students engaged. Events like Rowan After Hours on the weekend provide a welcoming atmosphere with a variety of activities and entertainment. Student University Programmers sponsor many trips and put on a number of events, with the biggest being Hollybash at the conclusion of each school year.
Overall, Rowan isn’t perfect, but nothing ever is in life. On a microscopic scale, each Prof has their own faults and talents. In the macro, Rowan is comprised of all of us students, as well as the faculty we have come to know. When things go wrong on campus, we shouldn’t curse Rowan as a whole. When things go right, we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to the negatives. As tuition-paying students, we should keep an eye on Rowan and those in charge, but also keep in mind that everyone here is human, and our school is simply a combination of flawed yet talented people.
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