Leave your impact on University
Here at the University, which this year boasts the largest student body in its history, some may feel little more than a number. We are enrolled in an overwhelmingly large institution, with more than 100 majors, five campuses and even one of the biggest busing systems in the nation. When you walk on campus — whether as a first-year or a senior like me — you certainly get that big, state-school feel. Especially when everyone dons those free scarlet red football T-shirts.
That being said, the University does differ from all the other stereotypical, large state schools across the nation. Our deep roots, which date back to the school's founding in 1766, have shaped the expansion of the University over the centuries (literally). The result is an institution that blends history with progress. Take the new Busch, Engineering, Science and Technology residence hall on Busch campus, which opened last week. Its three buildings were modeled after Winants Hall on the Old Queen's campus — the first residence hall when Rutgers University was still Rutgers College.
Still, the University is progressing quickly, and it can seem intimidating. To stay with the construction theme, the completion of the brand new Livingston Dining Commons and an expanded Busch Student Center also help to make the campus better than before. And of course, we can't forget that 1,500-bed residence hall being built now on Livingston campus, set to open next fall. Finally, the University is not the only place that's growing. The sky-scraping Gateway Transit Center by downtown New Brunswick's train station looks to be on its way to finishing, along with a brand new Barnes and Noble bookstore for the school.
But new buildings and roadways are not the only places where transition is occurring. For the first time in 10 years, the school is undergoing a yearlong presidential search (for more detailed information, check presidentialsearch.rutgers.edu), in addition to the search for a new executive vice president for Academic Affairs, after the resignation in May of Phillip J. Furmanski. For new students, they will be able to witness and be part of this change in power and experience a new vision.
For us returning students, by now well used to the sound of jackhammers and maze-like detours, we may feel a bit jaded with all the never-ending construction projects in New Brunswick and Piscataway. We may feel lost in the rubble and in the politics of administration changes and financial woes in Trenton. We are certainly sick of the negative press of our beloved University.
Therefore, we must remember this can a very exciting time for our campus during this period of transition. We have more students — and definitely more pride — than ever before, and we should use this to our advantage. As students, whether undergraduate or graduate, we should have an integral role in everything occurring on campus. Our large presence means we have a stronger voice that can be active during these unstable times. We as students do fit into this equation, as this is our home, too. We must use our intelligence, curiosity and dedication as young leaders in order to overlook diversity and petty problems as we leave our own footprint on the University's long and winding path.
With this in mind, feel free to send me your thoughts, questions and complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. Give me a call at (732)-932-2012. Leave a comment at www.dailytargum.com. I want to know what you think not only of our paper, but also our University. As the campus's independent voice, The Daily Targum wants to make sure your voice is heard and represented. If we work together, this will be the University's greatest year yet. We are more than just numbers.
Mary Diduch is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in journalism and media studies and political science, with a minor in Spanish. She is editor-in-chief of The Daily Targum.