OPINION: New year, new changes at Wilkes

The triumph of Wilkes University is its progress. Many small colleges are complacent; they continue to do what they have always done and remain in stagnation. Wilkes is unique in many ways, but it has set itself apart from many small schools by continuing to grow not just in its numbers, but in its physical appearance and countless offerings for students. Its commitment to student success really shows through the changes that took place while students were home for the summer; every decision that was made created a purposeful effect on the student population now and in the future.

1) The Gateway Project

Admit it, an expensive project like this had the student body skeptical. Now in full effect, the Gateway is an integral part of campus connecting Wilkes to the downtown and creating convenience for residents and commuters alike. At night, the open lighted pathway feels much safer than it did previously. During the day, the campus is much more open and unified, and the addition of more landscaping helps to keep Wilkes feeling suburban despite its urban location. Now we just need those sprinklers to stop splashing students on the way to class and it will be a perfect addition to our already stunning campus greenway.

2) New Tennis Courts

Wilkes is finally upgrading its tennis facilities. Although junior doubles player, Dom Parfianowicz, is still waiting in eager anticipation to try out the new courts, he and his fellow teammates are all extremely excited to have new courts for their upcoming season. The old courts had cracks and dead spots, it was time for an improvement and Wilkes has risen to the occasion.

3) Barre Hall

This semester has seen great improvements to Wilkes, notably, the largest amount of residential students ever on campus at 1,095. To accommodate this number and the new honors program, Barre Hall was renovated and now houses 29 students in the first Learning through Leadership Community (LLC) on campus. Resident Assistant in Barre Hall, Valerie Woods, is excited about the community that the hall is already forming. The students all met at orientation and had the advantage of getting to know one another before officially moving onto campus.

4) Secondary Education Major

Constantly growing, Wilkes has added to its list of offerings a new major in secondary education. For more information, see Anne Thomas’ note in The Beacon’s summer issue.

5) Dining Services

Aramark has taken full swing of the food offerings here on campus. With fresher and more cost effective options, students seem generally much happier with the change. Rather than paying in full dining dollars like Rifkin last year, Greens to Go, Which Wich and The Grill allow you to swipe a comparable meal price and take the remainder of the meal off dining or flex accounts.

6) Public Safety

Public Safety is constantly evolving to fit student needs. Over the summer, the department added several new officers to its hybrid force. Furthermore, at the desk of Evans and Towers after 10 p.m., there will always be a PSO.