New (School) Year Resolutions

Student CenterThe University is standing on the precipice of change. With a brand new academic building, fresh new food options, and more construction emerging, the University has never been so full of new beginnings. In the wake of all of the changes on campus, students and faculty are making some adjustments themselves. After a long summer, students are looking forward to making some revamps in their academic and involvement choices.  

The new layout of the Student Center paired with the introduction of Gourmet Dining is the biggest change in the eyes of the student body. The new white picnic tables offer a fun new design, but provide some challenges for students who like to sit with a big group of friends. 

Samantha Marella, a junior business marketing major, feels a little disappointed with the new design. “I don’t like how the tables are smaller; they can fit at most six people,” Marella contends. “This creates a very cliquey environment, and I feel that Monmouth is taking a step backwards in creating a sense of community.” 

While the tables may be small, the possibilities the new food service and layout provide are large. Danielle Romanowski, a junior communication major, points out that “Gourmet dining is new, and they’re still learning how to accommodate the students.” While students are getting used to the new layout and food choices, that doesn’t take away from the excitement they feel about the new beginning. Romanowski also believes that Gourmet Dining provides better quality food. “[They] really care about the dining experience the students have,” she insists. 

Changes in the design of campus are one thing, but changes in the students are another. A new year is a fresh start for everyone, and that means bringing up those GPAs and joining that club you said you would join at the Involvement Fair two years ago. For Romanowski, a freshly minted communication major, this means getting the ball rolling in her new field. “Since I just became a communication major this fall, I plan to become more involved with the PRSSA on campus, and use their resources to further my knowledge in this field,” she says. 

With so many choices for students to get involved in, some can get a bit too saturated with clubs and activities. Annie Siegel, a senior social work major, plans on taking a step back from involvement this year in order to focus on her academics. Siegel has dealt with the struggle of taking on too much, including being President of her sorority and Vice President of Active Minds, and feels that “it’s a lot to keep up with while taking 15 credits and an internship.” All of the students here feel the pressure to maintain good grades and a thriving social life, so finding that balance is a key goal for students this year.

Our peers aren’t the only group of people making big changes this year - our professors are as well. Moyi “Pony” Jia, a lecturer in  the communication department, is excited to see all of the University’s changes. 

“These changes are telling us that our University never stops to pursue excellence and improvement,” Jia explains. “When we see these improvements, we feel more motivated to change ourselves to be better every day.” 

Jia points out that the University’s efforts to build a better global connection are improving. Our basketball team visited China during the summer break, and the business school is pursuing an international cooperation program. “I am happy to see that our school is becoming more global,” she says with contentment. As for herself, Jia plans to read more books and begin implementing more interesting research this year. 

New food, new room designs, new buildings, new construction; many things are just beginning at the University this fall. But amidst all the changes, the goal for students remains the same: stay involved, keep up with classes, and manage to fit their friend groups at one table.  

PHOTO TAKEN by Erin McMullen