Earlier this week, hundreds of students gathered in Jubilee Auditorium for the convocation of the new College of Communication and the Arts. Guided by luminaries, we walked in scattered packs across the Green and ignited plastic candle stubs as a school to signify a new start. In the fall evening breeze, plastic collapsible tables that once held crisp new T-shirts stood bare, greeting the final arriving students, a stark contrast to the jubilant atmosphere across campus in the auditorium. In the dark, eerily lit driveway in front of the University Center, as we arrived at our final destination we wondered, what’s next? What is next? And from a student perspective, what does it all mean? Ample rumors abound of new classes, a new core and even new resources, but what is the timeframe and who will reap these new benefits? In the paper this week announces an anticipated renovation of Mooney Hall as a part of a campus “Master Plan,” but the University at this time will not release further information of the changes. As registration approaches quickly, the question arises of whether there will be new courses or new requirements. The lack of information reflects the process of the college. Although The Setonian reported on initial discussion of the proposed school, the announcement came as somewhat of a shock. As students, we understand that this is an amazing opportunity with our best interest in mind, but we can’t help but wonder, what other surprises are hiding down the line? The fact is, the definitive information students have of the new college right now seems like hearsay. Seniors are resentful of the fact that we will not be here to enjoy the promised land of opportunity associated with this new title. We keep asking questions like, what will these new resources be? Although we are grateful for the recognition and the hard work that went into the formation of the college, transparency moving forward would help us feel like a part of the process. Right now many questions remain, specifically as convocation marked the official formation, we ask, what’s next?
As a student newspaper, it is our primary goal and responsibility to pursue the truth constantly and unwaveringly in an effort to not only be an accurate voice for all members of the community, but also to provide useful daily information and ultimately a historical record for years to come. We pursue this goal relentlessly. We spend hours upon hours every week huddled in an office, elbow-to-elbow at a conference table and constantly connected via text, phone calls, social media and email. Throughout this entire process, we are continuously thinking about you, the Seton Hall Community. This week, we have released a detailed crime report on South Orange, which required months of preparation, and an article regarding a memorandum released by the Archdiocese of Newark which some feel consequently disparages a community of students on campus. We send our publication to the printer with pride knowing that the next day when we deliver the bundles throughout campus, we might make students a little safer or we might make unheard voices a little louder. As a student newspaper, like many other student-run organizations, we admit that sometimes we struggle to manage an upcoming ethics midterm, a history paper and on top of that, an entire section of this publication. We sometimes let our passion get the best of us and skimp on studying to score that perfect interview. We do this because we are passionate about you, the community and this campus that we are lucky enough to be a voice for. We hope that you, in turn, not only lend us an ear, but let us know the topics that are most important to you. As a student newspaper, we know that our target audience is more likely to read a newly refreshed Twitter feed while waiting for class than to thumb through 16 pages of newsprint. But we are constantly trying to improve and adapt to be the source you need on all media. We hope that our efforts accomplish what we set out to do: Be a voice, an almanac of sorts, a history book, and a starting point for discussion and change.
October kicks off International Month on campus at Seton Hall. Activities include a variety of cultural experiences such as a free Japanese cuisine tasting and a foreign film festival. Celebrating diversity for a month on campus is a great way for students to learn about other cultures, but shouldn’t every month be treated as International Month? Seton Hall has many options for students to immerse themselves in different cultures that they might not be aware of that could be utilized throughout the year. Seton Hall has almost 20 clubs categorized as cultural or religious-based. These include, but are not limited to, clubs such as the Asian Student Association, French Club, Slavic Club, African Student Association, Italian Student Association and many more. Additionally, Seton Hall is also home to Multicultural Greek Organizations under the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC). According to the Seton Hall website, the Council is “committed to en hancing the multicultural presence on campus. The council seeks a more diverse co-existence between fraternal and sorority orders while maintaining good faith with the University.” The MGC includes 13 organizations on campus. All of them host events that would benefit students’ exposure to different cultures throughout the year, not just during the month of October. Students might not be aware of the opportunities that Seton Hall has available to immerse themselves in different cultures on a service trip or a semester abroad. There are summer faculty-led programs in Spain, France and Italy, just to name a few. Other students who qualify can study across the globe for an entire semester through Seton Hall or a third-party provider. Celebrating diversity is extremely important, especially on our campus where we have representation of students from over 70 countries, according to the Seton Hall website. Although International Month is a wonderful way to highlight different cultures, the effort should not stop there. Hopefully this year International Month doesn’t have to end with the start of November. Students shouldn’t stop after fun food truck events or film festivals. These events should be utilized as a window into the international education and involvement opportunities that SHU has to offer. This event should be celebrated as a starting point and an educational opportunity to engage students in the community.
Earlier this week, students received an email alert from the Department of Public Safety warning that there were several instances of theft in Walsh Library. The notice explained that on late Sept.27 and early Sept. 28, three students reported missing credit cards, cash and even a social security card from their purses. In one instance, a female suspect followed a victim into the bathroom where she borrowed the victim’s phone to make a call. Later that day, the victim received a phone call asking for personal banking information. According to Public Safety, the suspects do not go to Seton Hall; rather, they waited on the third floor of the library to target potential victims. The nature of these thefts demonstrates that students need to constantly be aware of their personal information and their possessions. The fact that we go to a small, Catholic University doesn’t ensure the safety of an unattended bag in the library, and likewise in dorms, the Rec Center and the University Center. When it comes to guarding your personal items, the same rules that apply to any public place should apply on campus. Especially with the increased threat of information theft over the phone and email, crime now more than ever knows no boundaries. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Justice, credit-card data theft has increased 50 percent over the past few years. Students should consider these statistics and be wary, wherever they are, that they are always at risk for theft. Unfortunately, campus cannot be a safe haven from crime. College is where people get their first exposure to the “real” world, and crime is an inevitable part of that experience. Sometimes this means being less trustworthy of others. For example, instead of letting someone borrow your phone privately, make sure they use it in a public place where you can see them. Instead of asking a stranger to watch it, bring your own bag with you to the bathroom. Students can prevent putting themselves at risk by being responsible in public places, starting with our campus.