One of the best qualities about Rider is the effort the administration takes to involve the students here, especially in big decisions, like including a fall break in the school calendar. Students have many needs that the administration may not know about, such as the need for free cab services or the shuttle bus between the two campuses. Overall, the effort to include the student body is obvious in most cases — whether it’s a campus-wide survey through e-mail or student representatives in the Student Government Association.
Earlier this week, it was announced that the date to sign up for classes was moved up. This, along with last year’s decision to make deposits for housing selection earlier, allows students who have financial difficulties more time to work through the problems, without worrying about losing out on housing or classes that fill up quickly. These students may also have holds on their accounts, which could affect when they can sign up for classes. The new changes hope to alter this in an effort to make the administration more “student-centered,” according to Dean of Students Anthony Campbell.
On top of this, making the course selection earlier allows the staff to adjust to the courses that may be available for the fall semester. It’s often hard to tell which classes will be more popular than others — with the earlier date it’s easier to add or take away classes. This go-with-the-flow attitude may make it less stressful for freshmen, who choose classes last.
Last year’s housing changes were a huge departure from previous years and with the addition of the West Village Commons, the administration has realized that students want different styles of residence halls. In addition to these apartments, many standard double rooms will be converted to single rooms and more standard doubles will have private bathrooms among other additions. Switlik Hall rooms are expected to be renovated and air-conditioned in time for the fall semester, the first of a series of such efforts in the residence halls.
According to a survey conducted by Princeton University last May, nearly 58 percent of students there felt that administrators did not “listen to student input when creating substantial campus policies” such as stricter alcohol regulations. Thirty-six percent of the 1,900 students polled felt that recent policies had caused “a decline in the quality of undergraduate student life.” There may be no hard data to back up Rider students’ feelings about the changes in both housing and course selection, but there is no denying that the completion of the West Village Commons is just one of many steps the adminstration is taking in order to become more student-centered.
There is definitely a buzz around campus about the new apartments. Upperclassmen who have a shot at winning an apartment in the housing lottery this year need to decide quickly about roommates since the date has been moved up to March 24. However, the early date gives students one less thing to worry and stress about around finals’ time.
This weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News editorial board and is written by the Opinion Editor, Nadine Tester.