A new school year means new beginnings for all of us. As the stress of classes, work, internships and the other facets of daily life pile up, it can provide insight to take stock of where we’re succeeding and where we can improve.
Let’s do that for Rowan as a whole, since we’re all cells in its student body and are affected by decisions made within the university’s brain (hello President Houshmand and Provost Newell).
Keep It Up, Rowan- Affordability, New Majors, Expansion, Necessary Construction and Art
Rowan has been applauded for its affordability. Initiatives like the promise not to raise tuition past the rate of inflation or the selling of Houshmand’s Hazardous Hot Sauce for scholarship funds are smart moves on the university’s part.
Rowan is also making strides in the creation of new majors, most significantly the sports marketing and communication major. Adding more programs like these to the roster will help to ensure a diverse student body with wide-ranging talents and interests.
With the growing student population also comes overall expansion. Nexus is in the process of building 125 new apartments near High Street. This is in addition to much new development in the Rowan Boulevard area, ranging from Victoria Hall to the Enterprise Center to the variety of new businesses lining the street. Unlimited potential seems to await commercial interests in the burgeoning Rowan downtown area.
The Facilities, Planning & Operations Department is taking steps to minimize flooding on campus, a wise move for a campus often plagued by mini-lakes in the sidewalks or roads. For instance, Meditation Walk will be turned into a concrete stair structure with handrails facing brand-new plantings. The plantings and addition of concrete in areas like these is thought to help reduce flooding, showing Rowan’s ability to take measures meant to address issues on campus.
Various art projects have also helped to change the campus landscape. The addition of an owl statue across from Robinson Hall reflects the classic Prof pride. The Glassboro Town Square Park recently saw the addition of a glassblower statue, another symbol that reflects the heritage of the area around Rowan.
Consider These issues, Rowan
While the university is off to a good start for the reasons above and many more, there are also some areas that will hopefully see improvement during the 2018-2019 school year.
One of the major headaches faced throughout the first week back involved the implementation of the new dining system in the MarketPlace. Students must order their meals from the dining hall virtually now, either through an app, kiosk or the Gourmet Dining website. An internet connection and credit card or debit card now seem required to order food from this location now, making this method inconvenient for those who prefer cash. Wait times are being reported as 30 to 45 minutes to receive food, which questions the purported convenience and accessibility of this method.
Expansion was mentioned under the positive aspects, but it can also come with drawbacks. The main one seems to be a lack of parking. Navigating the trek to campus has been notoriously tricky for commuters or students with cars. The number of students with cars far exceeds available parking. Some commuter students have been denied parking passes if attempting to purchase one too late after the school year starts. The parking garages in the Rowan Boulevard area were a haven for students searching for a spot, but all of the spots on the first floor were recently designated as retail-only. This is coupled with the elimination of certain commuter lots on campus.
As the school year chugs along, keep your eyes open for areas and aspects of campus that need improvement, and be thankful for the ways in which this ever-growing university also gets things right. It’s generally a well-oiled machine, but it never hurts to have us students speaking up about the spots that are becoming covered in rust.
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