Recently, Rider ranked well on several collegiate lists, (see story, pg. 1). Forbes also published an article of the best 610 colleges in the U.S.; Rider was #568 (of 2,400 four-year colleges and universities in the country). Obviously no college is perfect, but listening to students is a great way to garner some feedback. Here are some issues Rider might consider to better serve its students — current and future.
Food for thought
Let’s face it: Daly’s is no five-star restaurant. Even with recent improvements, like the addition of vegetarian and gluten-free stations, it leaves a lot to be desired in the way of good food.
In its buffet-style setting, Daly’s does cater to the different tastes of its students, but sometimes making lunch or dinner requires some creativity. At events such as open houses and admitted student days, our prospective students eat like kings; for the most part, though, the quality of the food at Rider is sub-par (check out the hamburgers). Perhaps Rider can invest some of the money used to attract new students to keep its current students’ stomachs satisfied. One way to do this would be to bring in fresh food daily. While wasting food is a problem, it’s not exactly appetizing to see Friday’s dessert still being served on Saturday.
Another issue that can make eating at Daly’s a dubious task is cleanliness. Often, utensils and plates are left with residue of meals past, and it can be a real appetite killer to pick up a plate only to smear your hands in some leftover goop.
Out with the old, in with the new
Without the space to construct new residence halls, why not update the existing buildings? Considering Rider was #18 on the Princeton Review’s “Dorms Like Dungeons” list last year, it would be well worth the money to renovate older buildings. For example, Switlik was renovated two summers ago and equipped with AC units. Anybody who lives in Conover, Gee and Kroner, for instance, could benefit from updated bathrooms as well as new furniture. Installing proper heating and air conditioning systems would also be a huge upgrade, and maintaining facilities and appliances like washers and dryers on a consistent basis would be a step up. Simple changes can make older residence halls feel more comfortable, more like home.
Working for the weekend
Rider is definitely working on its weekend programming, which should be appreciated by the community. The Student Entertainment Council (SEC) has sponsored two successful off-campus trips within the last two weeks. Hopefully SEC will continue to offer trips like this, and maybe other campus organizations will do the same.
The University has been fighting its suitcase school reputation for years, yet it seems that students often look for alternative ways to have fun. People complain of the lack of activities on campus, but the fact is that most don’t take advantage of Rider’s weekend programming. Maybe those in charge of events and campus organizations can find more efficient ways to communicate about campus activities.
I’ll take ‘education’ for $40,000
At more than $40,000 per year, Rider isn’t cheap. Like other schools in New Jersey, Rider has been affected by Governor Christie’s budget cuts, which cut $173 million in aid to public and private colleges and universities throughout the state.
The University is still working to make sure its students get their money’s worth. With a loss of $500,000 in TAG and EOF grants, many will be concerned about their ability to pay tuition. Last spring, President Mordechai Rozanski explained Rider’s “moral obligation to substitute Rider’s or other funds for the lost TAG and EOF awards in the financial aid packages offered.” Now that the University has committed to helping students, we hope that they can follow through with it.
Colleges ultimately need to maintain their bottom line, but hopefully Rider will continue its efforts to make the experience the best it can be for its students.
This weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News. This week’s editorial was written by the Managing Editor, Kaitlin MacRae.