From the get-go, this year was rocky.
Before classes even began in September, Thomas Galletta, a senior advertising major died; two of the University’s administrators were charged with aggravated hazing in relation to the death of Gary DeVercelly Jr.; and the faculty was ready to strike. Although the charges were dropped and our professors taught us straight through the contract woes that were eventually resolved, the summer preceding this year foreshadowed a somewhat gloomy first few months.
In October, things continued to go downhill when Dr. David Rebovich, a professor of political science, and Justin Warfield, a freshman at Westminster Choir College, both died unexpectedly. In the next two weeks, Rider also lost Ryan Marsich, a freshman political science major, Alicia Lehman, a senior elementary education major, and Nick Costa, a junior entrepreneurial business major.
In fact, not many communities, especially one as small as Rider, can take so much heartbreak and still come out strong. It seemed that throughout all of these tragedies, the one upside was the men’s basketball team. Week after week, Alumni Gym was filled with fans, helping to cheer on the team for win after win. These games provided students with much-needed time to release and have some fun. The games also helped Rider come together as a community, and start climbing its way out of months of negative press attention and restrictive new rules.
The climb continued as the campus caught word that a new residence hall, made up of suites and apartments, would not only be done in a year but would also be environmentally friendly. Although almost every student was bothered by housing issues in spring, the new dorm gives students something to look forward to for next year.
The past 10 months was not so much a roller coaster ride, with ups and downs all along the way, but more like a steady climb, because the year got better and better as the months flew past.
And now, at the very end of the semester with classes over and exams looming over next week, it is easy to see how we are still climbing. Jason Thompson, the leader of the men’s basketball team, is awaiting the NBA draft on June 20. There are also some ambitious plans for construction on campus over the summer, including work on Daly’s and renovations in Wright and Gee Halls.
Next year, with elections in the fall, this country will see a new president, which will hopefully have a positive effect on the nation’s economy and worldwide standing. For students who are seeking jobs in the next few years, voting in the next election will be the most important move they can make, as the job market crumbles and competition for work becomes increasingly fierce.
Although the DeVercelly family’s civil suit against Rider, as well as criminal charges against former student Mike Torney, continue, the Rider community will be able to keep strong, no matter what the future holds.
On May 9, seniors will take a big step into the real world. Some may be more experienced in their field than others, but no matter what, their memories and experiences at this University will prepare them for what may come.
Written By Opinion Editor, Nadine Tester