The views expressed in the following article are the opinion of the writer and do not reflect the opinions of the Newswire staff as a whole.
Xavier is changing, that is no secret. The addition of the Health United Building, dubbed the “HUB,” and the remodel of food options in Gallagher are the most visible changes, but many other things are happening behind the scenes that also affect the lives of students.
One recent example is the upperclassmen housing process that took place this past week. Among my friends and me, this is the most prominent effect of our changing campus that we’ve been in direct contact with. Each year, for several years now, the first-year class has gotten bigger and bigger, demanding more and more housing spaces.
Therefore, the process of “squatting” that upperclassmen utilized to obtain housing their junior and senior years is no longer feasible, as spots need to be reserved for rising sophomores. To achieve this, Residence Life employed the ever-dependable lottery system, which resulted in many students not receiving housing.
I struggle with this issue and often feel that I have been given the short end of the stick. I have begun to feel as though now that the university “has me,” they do not need to treat me as decorously as they do students they are still recruiting.
It is easy to think that Xavier cares so much about growth and development that the focus has become too narrow. Xavier’s administration is so set on recruiting new students and starting new projects that they have seemingly forgotten about their current students.
The dining hall is another significant place that changes can be seen. This is also related to the remodeling of Gallagher. The caf is one of just a few food options on campus this semester yet is almost uninhabitable during lunch rushes.
If a class has just let out, you will have a difficult time not only finding somewhere to sit but getting food as well. The dining hall was not built to accommodate this deluge of people.
It is evident in walkways and sitting areas clogged by lines, food options running out before the majority of students get to them and the introduction of “community tables” (pushing many small tables together and encouraging students to sit next to and converse with students they do not know). These things all make stopping in for a snack or meal with friends a difficult and tiresome experience.
Do not get me wrong, I love Xavier. Our campus is beautiful, our size is just right and each member of our faculty is knowledgeable and passionate. Additionally, change is not inherently bad, although I have been known to be adverse to it. Change is necessary. To retain any importance in society, all things have to change. However, Xavier is taking a rather dominating approach. Things are happening without students being aware or even ready for them. What I call for are inclusion and communication.
Change is necessary, but it is also scary. It can be even scarier if you do not know what is going to happen, how you will fit in with the new swing of things or if it is happening before you are ready. Right now, the students of Xavier are experiencing just that. We are blind to what is happening to our school and having change placed on us before we are ready. This has resulted not only in cynicism about the changes but in anxiety about them as well.
With increased communication about current large projects such as the HUB, the remodel of Gallagher and smaller projects, I believe that students can begin to look forward to and better support changes. If we are made aware of what exactly is happening, when changes will be made and how they will affect us, there will be less room for misunderstanding, cynicism and anxiety to creep in.
Change is a necessary and healthy component to Xavier’s success as an institution, but for it to be productive, students must be brought with it. Maybe what is required is a bit of slowing down, but the first step has to be better communication.
Emily Price is a sophomore psychology major. She is a staff writer for the Newswire from Miamisburg, Ohio.