2007: A defining year

On Sunday, students returned to campus to notice that things had changed since they left.

Dining Services proudly proclaims in its brochure, “We’ve been busy while you were gone!” The Holman Cart was transplanted to Armstrong Hall and renamed the KinetiCart. Another victim of a name change was Edith’s Place, which will now be known as Fair Grounds.

A few of the stations in the Eickhoff dining hall were switched around, and students craving pasta will no longer find it in the Brower Student Center food court, where Garden State salads have taken over.

The endless cycle of construction is in full swing. The ground behind Green Hall is unearthed, leading to detours for people navigating the campus. Meanwhile, the student apartments, which have been collecting mold on Metzger Drive since November 2004, are finally being knocked down. Hopefully, the Class of 2010 will get to enjoy the apartments that current seniors were promised when they were freshmen.

Food and construction are only the first of the changes we may witness this year.

While the College continues to rack up awards for being both competitive and affordable, the fact remains that the school is facing a major financial crunch. Last year’s cuts resulted in some difficult decisions by the administration, and by March we will learn Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s plans for higher education funding. While the College’s funding will not be slashed to the extent it was last year, it is still probable that the administration will implement cost-cutting measures that eliminate programs and services.

However, there is reason to be optimistic. Despite the budget crunch and some negative press for the College in 2006, the number of applications for freshman admission is significantly higher compared to this time last year. It appears that the reputation the College has worked so hard to build is paying dividends.

Last year was a rollercoaster ride for the campus community. We experienced plenty of highs but were challenged by a number of difficult situations. The College has changed considerably since the start of 2006, and it will be interesting to see what kind of changes take place as 2007 progresses.