Welcome back GW! While most of us have probably already broken our New Year’s resolutions, here are some that we hope the University community keeps over the next semester.
Don’t lose faith in men’s basketball
The men’s basketball season opened with heightened excitement as head coach Mike Lonergan ushered in a new era for Colonials basketball. While it is no secret that the team has struggled in recent weeks, students should still come out to the Smith Center to support the Colonials.
Fans must have patience with Lonergan, as he is implementing a new coaching style for a team almost exclusively made up of players recruited by former head coach Karl Hobbs. Constructing a new system of play takes time, as a team cannot start over and build from the ground up in a matter of months. So give the new team time, as miracle turnarounds for sports teams only happen in the movies.
Fans should not abandon Lonergan, especially after his outreach efforts toward the student body last semester. He should be rewarded by continued home game attendance despite the team’s recent struggles.
The Colonials still have a chance to regain their footing with conference play, and will certainly need the full support of the student body. After all, Lonergan has always stressed the importance of having a strong home-court advantage.
Direct extra resources to student life
Students continue to suffer through the effects of cutbacks in the University student life division, most notably in facilities. This past semester, students often expressed frustration over FIXit requests while Facilities Services was unable to thoroughly clean and inspect all residence hall rooms.
The University should consider funneling some of the savings from the Innovation Task Force directly to student life, or creating a similar system of cost-saving measures for student life. Extra funds for student life could relieve the pressure of cutbacks on programs such as facilities, or perhaps provide additional resources to the new Center for Student Engagement.
Where the University finds sustainable savings solutions it should direct funds equally toward student life and academics. The community will surely benefit in the long run from major ITF funding, but there are basic student concerns today that must be addressed as well.
Strive to restore UCC’s reputation
Last year was a turbulent year for the University Counseling Center, marked by both a major triumph and troubling leadership. At the start of the academic year, the University made the first six UCC sessions free – a promising move for increased access to vital mental health resources. But a slew of public allegations of mismanagement by former UCC director John Dages and Associate Director Barbara Brown seriously crippled UCC’s credibility and community trust in the organization.
Dages’ resignation is a signal to the community that the University is responding to these troubling statements, but Brown remains as the associate director. As long as she remains at the UCC, the center’s reputation remains tenuous. Recently-hired Vice President of Human Resources Sabrina Ellis should make it a priority to reconsider Brown’s continued leadership.
The University’s month-long review of UCC has been keen to curate student concerns and recommendations, but it must be transparent in its plans as it moves forward. Dean of Students Peter Konwerski needs to reconsider his decision to not make the report public, as hiding the results does nothing to increase public trust in the organization. Providing information about the effort it is taking to improve UCC’s battered image will only restore student body faith in the organization.