Montclair State University President Jonathan Koppell shared various changes coming to campus during his spring address at Alexander Kasser Theater on April 19. One announcement, in particular, caused a commotion in the audience of students, faculty and staff.
It was the announcement of plans for a Starbucks on campus that caused a significant reaction among the crowd. This is just one new development of the university’s new dining contract, given to a local company named Gourmet Dining.
“[The change in the dining contract was made to make Montclair State] not just a place that people come to take classes or go to work but a community where people hang out,” Koppell said.
Dakota Delisle, a junior medical humanities major, thinks change on campus will be a great thing.
“I think some change will be good for the students, especially if they dorm, and [for] the staff that eats on campus,” Delisle said.
The new dining contract also aims to recognize and include people with dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free, halal and kosher.
Thomas Grexa, a freshman business administration major, has celiac disease, which makes him gluten intolerant.
“I hope that doesn’t drastically affect me; I know a lot of people who [are] gluten-free as well,” Grexa said. “We’ll see how that plays out.”
Rana Elsharkawy, a freshman accounting major, is excited about more options on campus.
“I just recently heard about this, and I heard that there are more halal options and maybe a Starbucks, I’m [kind of] hyped for that,” Elsharkawy said. “I’m excited to see the options.”
Koppell announced two new colleges (the College of Community Health and the College of Education and Engaged Learning), a brand new school (the School of Computing) and four new degrees.
Koppell also highlighted that students will now have at least seven tickets for graduation. The graduation ceremony will be held in the Prudential Center in Newark as part of a new initiative to include as much family as possible.
Using the Prudential Center, there is no need to worry about bad weather like with past graduations on Sprague Field. There needs to be a certain level of “pomp and circumstance,” Koppell said during the update, to recognize the graduates’ achievement with their families watching.
“For an institution like ours where you have such a high proportion of students who are first generation, it’s a big deal not just for the graduate, but a big deal for their family,” Koppell said.