Looking to the semester with cautious optimism

At the College, the new year marks a plethora of new and exciting happenings. The freshly fallen snow that greeted students on move-in day, creating a picturesque setting, certainly contributed to an overwhelming sense of optimism. Members of the College community have a great deal to look forward to in the coming months.

The College Union Board (CUB) has planned two exciting events for the first week back from Winter Break. Frank Warren of PostSecret will surely provide College students with interesting anecdotes from his work. Brand New, a band that is somewhat reclusive, will put on a rare performance in the intimate Kendall Hall venue. College students can also look forward to Spring Semester performances by big-name artists and comedians, including Ludacris, Lupe Fiasco and Demetri Martin.

While CUB has worked hard to make our community more entertaining, the College’s administration has been hard at work to make the campus more environmentally friendly. The Municipal Land Use Center and Sustainable Jersey will assist in this process which is aligned with College President R. Barbara Gitenstein’s Climate Commitment.

Construction projects on campus also appear to be progressing nicely. The Metzger Drive Appartments seem to be nearing completion, and the new Art and Interactive Multimedia building is beginning to rise from its foundation. Renovations of Decker Hall will also make the College campus more attractive to and comfortable for future generations of students.

Our College continues to improve itself while remaining relatively affordable. The Princeton Review recently ranked the College as the 10th best value in the public colleges category. With its small class sizes and experienced faculty, the College remains a highly competitive academic institution.

But at the heart of all of these accolades and initiatives is funding, and Gov. Jon S. Corzine has not been too kind to the College in recent years. If the College is going to remain a good value that is attractive, competitive and environmentally sustainable, our legislators must maintain a commitment to higher education.

While it is important that we take stock of what we have here at the College (and yes, the feelings of optimism are merited), we as students have to remain vigilant over our right to quality higher education. If we don’t, the future of the College may not be so bright.