Another year has quickly slipped through our fingers, as we crawl slowly toward the finish line of finals and for seniors, graduation. Events both old and new have graced our presence throughout this school year and decisions, along with new beginnings and new people, have made their mark here at Rider.
The Westminster campus started the year off achieving Leadership in Energy Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Westminster’s 11,200 square foot Marion Buckelew Cullen Center, completed in the fall of 2014, incorporated many green elements, including energy-efficient lighting systems, low-flow water fixtures, low-emitting paints and recycled waste from the beginning of the construction process.
Rider’s radio station, 107.7 The Bronc, was named the best college radio station in New Jersey at the New Jersey Broadcaster’s Association conference. The students on staff at The Bronc were rewarded for their continuous hands-on broadcasting experiences and will sustain their commercial radio station status.
Within the Greek community, the Theta Chi fraternity reestablished a chapter at Rider. Recruitment began this spring. This is exciting news for the expanding Greek community.
Rider’s campus traditions have grown in popularity each year. Cranberry Fest is the first festive, outdoor event of the semester, a tradition since 1979. It is the perfect welcoming event involving music, food and old and new relationships embracing the new year.
The fall concert, hosted by the Student Entertainment Council, is always one of the biggest events of the year. The line for tickets always wraps around the Student Recreation Center (SRC) with students excitedly snapping pictures of their tickets in their hands. This year’s concert, Travis Scott, performed on the stage of the SRC in front of hundreds of Rider students singing the lyrics right back to him.
“I Love College” is another one of Rider’s most popular events, and many students look forward to this party in the fall semester. With wild lights, a DJ playing the most popular music and with the convenience of it being right on campus, many students pile their friends together to attend this massive dance party.
Student competitions, like R Factor, have become extremely popular in terms of student attendance and participation over the years. R Factor was named the best campus tradition by the National Association of Campus Activities. Students are able to showcase their talents aside from their academic abilities. On-campus competitions allow students to break out of their shells in front of the entire school.
The Egg Hunt, a fairly new event presented by The Bronc, stepped up its game by giving away a Royal Caribbean Cruise to the Bahamas. Students rustled through 9,000 eggs spread across the campus lawn until a winner found the grand prize. With a petting zoo, games and prizes, the egg hunt is a tradition that should stick around.
Recently at Rider Rock Fest, music jammed through the night as fireworks blazed and students on the zip line zoomed past the academic buildings. Nearing the end of the semester, this campus tradition was a great way for students to get together and enjoy one of their last few weekends at Rider.
This year was also a year full of political expression about national and campus-wide topics. With the presidential election in November, students and faculty had a fair share of opportunities to express their views in both positive and negative ways. The political environment around the world has influenced the Rider community this year especially.
The White House recognized Rider’s health care initiative in the Healthy Campus Challenge out of more than 350 schools. Two Rider students were given the opportunity to speak with former First Lady Michelle Obama about affordable health care and making students around the country aware of health care options.
Also on our campus, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich spoke to a crowded audience of students, alumni, faculty and members of the community about the advantages of free markets and capitalism, as part of the Rebovich Institute. Gingrich spoke in a way that allowed people, who may have been against his views, to connect with the topics he presented. Having a well-known political figure on our small college campus was definitely a stand-out event this year.
Within our college community, there have been decisions made and opinions brought to the table that have stirred in everyone’s minds, but there has also been a great amount of positive bonding that has surrounded Rider as well. We tend to focus on the dimmer aspects of life and what happens on campus, but looking back, there is so much positivity at Rider where new and old traditions bring us closer as a community.
The weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News. This week’s editorial was written by the opinion editor, Hayley Fahey.
Printed in the 4/26/17 issue.