Rider recently announced plans to make a four-building switch that will generate additional revenue for the university by creating a new residence hall without any new construction.
The university plan involves the rearrangement of the locations of Public Safety, Office of Information Technology (OIT) and the home of Dean of Students Anthony Campbell. The goal of the plan is to open up more rooms for students to live in without building a new residence hall, provide more money for the university and allow OIT to have a more spacious office. Even though it sounds like everyone will get what they want, the plan is not without its drawbacks.
Mail Services, and possibly Collegiate Press, expects to lose as much as half of its room for faculty and organization mailboxes and package processing. This is one of the negatives to the plan since the mailroom already has a small space to work with.
Right now, the OIT office is in Centennial House, between the Delta Phi Epsilon and Alpha Xi Delta sorority houses. OIT will be moved to the General Services Building (GSB) where Public Safety, Mail Services and Collegiate Press are located. Public Safety will be relocated to Campbell’s current house on Route 206. Last weekend, Campbell moved to a new home on West Long Drive, adjacent to Rider, officially kicking off the process.
The plan is for Centennial House to be converted into a residence hall, where it will provide rooms for 40 to 45 additional students, allowing the $1 million budget set aside for the project to be “paid back in about two and a half years,” according to Mike Reca, associate vice president of Facilities and Auxiliary Services.
With the overwhelming number of students that flooded into Rider last fall, we’ve seen how crowded the campus can get. But we now have sufficient residence space to accommodate enough that there are singles and empty rooms on campus. But the proactive decision to create more living space is a positive one. It will result in less of a crunch in the fall semester if the high enrollment rate repeats. Public Safety will still be doing what it usually does: patrolling the campus and quickly responding to any signs of emergency; it will just have a new central location. Also, OIT needs more space and the GSB is potentially the place for that. It will be redesigned to give OIT the space that it needs, but allow Mail Services and Collegiate Press to remain in the building.
On the plus side, turning Centennial House into a residence hall will earn more revenue for the university. This will hopefully allow the university and, subsequently, SGA to have a larger budget, something that students have been wanting.
The renovations for the switch are set to be completed by the spring of 2012.
The overall plan has many positive aspects, but the new location for Mail Services could possibly be better thought out. The university is trying to avoid new construction, but since students expect to receive their mail in a timely fashion, maybe a new location for the mailroom is in order if it will really lose half of its space.
This weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News editorial board and is written by the Opinion Editor, Angelique Lee.