Editorial: The ups and downs of fall semester

With the semester coming to an end and finals looming just around the corner, it’s important to look at how far Rider has come over the past few months. The campus has seen the good, the bad and the ugly since September.

Fall began with some big changes to the dining facilities. The renovations took a bit longer than expected, but students were eventually treated to a new and improved Daly’s and Cranberry’s and brand-new additions of Subway and Andrew J’s. Although these changes weren’t fully implemented until a couple of weeks after move-in day, they were well received by the student body.

These facilities were soon left nearly deserted, however, when Hurricane Sandy fell on New Jersey’s front lawn, leaving much of the state devastated, particularly the coast. Power outages and wind and flood damages swept through the state. Westminster was left without power for days and both campuses were closed for a week. The university did an excellent job of preparing for the storm; between encouraging students to return home if possible, providing constant updates on the state of the campus and clearing up the relatively minimal debris in a timely manner, there was little room for criticism. Though it shortened the semester and left some professors scrambling to revise their syllabi, the administration proved that the welfare of the students and all members of the community comes first.

The state had little time to recover, however, as the presidential election was right around the corner. The university included a shuttle to and from the polls for Rider students, providing easy access to voting stations (and allowing little room for excuses for not exercising their right to vote). Obama was re-elected to his second term in office, and the bond referendum was passed in New Jersey, earning Rider anywhere between $2 million and $4 million, according to Ben Dworkin, the director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics. Compared to The College of New Jersey, which will receive $25 million, the amount seems minuscule, but it will be enough to improve some of the academic facilities on campus. No plans have been announced yet regarding how to use the funds.

The Student Entertainment Council (SEC) was criticized this semester upon announcing that J. Cole would be the fall concert performer. After Sean Kingston in 2009, Jason Derulo in 2010 and Lupe Fiasco in 2011, students were left grumbling about the pattern of male solo artists. According to Nick Barbati, coordinator of Campus Life, funding and time restraints restricted SEC’s ability to find artists in the pop or rock groups, which placed first and second, respectively, in a student poll. The sold-out concert was received with mixed reviews; however, opening act Miguel was recently nominated for a Grammy for Song of the Year with his track “Adorn,” earning SEC and Rider some cred.

The Student Government Association (SGA) also made strides in the Rider community. In an effort to better unite the campus, the “R House” campaign was implemented. Throughout the month of November, students could collect the four pins in the spirit button series and be entered to win an iPad at the Holiday Lighting Ceremony. SGA also brought back the winter lights to Moore Library after two years of darkness, adding a little holiday cheer to the long weeks of finals, although the number of lights seems to have dwindled since 2009.

It has been a roller coaster of a semester, and we at The Rider News wish everyone a safe and happy winter break.

The weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News. This week’s editorial was written by Executive Editor Emily Eiermann.

Printed in the 12-7-12 edition

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