This year at Rider we reaped the advantages of last year’s changes, such as the addition of North Hall and we went through familar perils, like campus intruders. Overall, students have seen the good, the bad and the interesting throughout the year.
It started off on an interesting foot with the threat of a strike by the Rider faculty of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) because of a communication breakdown amidst the negotiations. After a couple weeks of wondering and worrying, an agreement was found and regularity was restored.
After all the construction that disrupted our sleep and distracted us from our work, students are finally experiencing its perks. The extension and remodeling of the Bart Luedeke Center (BLC) Theater allowed for performances like The Producers. Students are also fully engaged in the classrooms of the brand-new academic building North Hall. In addition Rider is anticipating new renovations and additions for next semester to Daly’s and Cranberry’s. Daly’s will be completely redone with the Bronc Diner taken out for extra seating and Cranberry’s will be adding a Subway along with different food stations.
Rider has made more strides this year to become more eco-friendly around campus. The creation of the “green to-go” reusable containers at Daly’s and Cranberry’s allows students to finally be able to take food out if they aren’t able to sit down for a meal. Also, a Dream Machine kiosk was installed in the Student Recreation Center (SRC), which is a computerized recycling machine that rewards users with coupons. It is important to students that Rider gives opportunities to be more environmentally friendly around campus.
Along with the outbreak of campus change, on Feb. 8, Rider also experienced the outbreak of the norovirus, which infected a total of 224 students and faculty members, according to Dan Higgins, director of University Communications. Through this tough time, Rider kept it together with the aid of the student health center, which stayed open for extended hours and on weekends in case of any emergencies.
When it came to Rider athletes, each team had its ups and downs. On the bright side, the Rider field hockey team clinched its second straight Northeast Conference (NEC) win, heavily backed by the three-time NEC Player of the Year, senior Virginia Egusquiza. The men’s swim team also brought home another victory when it won the MAAC Championship title for the first time since 2004.
A life-changing experience for one athlete caused quite a stir among the Rider community, along with that of Ewing. Sophomore and softball shortstop Laura Gallagher was charged with the second-degree crimes of death by auto and fleeing the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in death after she hit a man walking across Parkside Avenue with her car. After The Rider News published a news brief about the incident, members of the softball team stole most of the newspapers in an attempt to give Gallagher her privacy. Softball coach Tricia Carroll apologized promptly for her team’s actions.
Though this year presented its challenges, we also experienced positives as we climbed up 15 spots from 36th to the 21st place on the U.S. News and World Report’s list of Best Colleges in the Regional University North division. The student body also received a new Student Government Association (SGA) board, consisting of two previous members: Lorelei Colbert as president and Adam Grossman as vice president. Joe Forte was elected secretary and Justin Baldwin, treasurer. With a new SGA board and excitement for a fresh start in the fall, we can continue to add on the positives at Rider.
This weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News editorial board and is written by the Opinion Editor, Kristy Grinere.