Montclair State University President Jonathan Koppell held the final “Walk with the President” for the spring 2023 semester on Monday, April 17. The event, a slightly more informal affair, involved an hour-long walk around campus.
For President Koppell, this informal setting allows for more communication.
“This is an opportunity for me to interact with Montclair [State] students in a casual, unstructured way,” Koppell said in a statement. “It gives me a chance to get to know students, hear about their experiences both on and off campus, and get a sense of what excites them about the university and where they see opportunities to make the student experience even richer. It also gives students a chance to ask me questions and fill me in on matters that are on their minds.”
The April 17 walk featured seven students, all from various backgrounds. During the walk, several topics were touched upon such as accessibility, language options and the growth of the university. Bloomfield College’s merger with Montclair State was also a major topic in the first half of the walk.
For junior family science and human development major Alyssa Miller, this walk was a chance for the president to hear about issues related to accessibility. She wanted to participate in the walk as a way of getting involved.
“I think [going on this walk is] a good way to get involved in campus and just be more aware of what’s going on around me,” Miller said.
Freshman linguistics major Sidney Berger wanted to know more about Koppell’s responsibilities.
“I just [wanted to] get insight into what his role is, like he’s the head honcho, but I don’t know exactly what he does really like from a day-to-day basis,” Berger said. “And [I want to know] what he’s working on improving.”
Another main topic was the importance of undergraduate education. Two of the people on the walk were graduate students, who had gone to Messiah University in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. They were upset with the way their university was run and brought this perspective with them to the walk.
David Freda, a graduate student studying clinical mental health counseling asked questions related to student engagement, especially for commuters.
“I just thought it was a cool opportunity to sign up for what questions you have to ask,” Freda said. “I guess, like just going forward, [I’m interested in] the missions of the school what they’re going to probably try to do to get students engaged in more activities, especially commuter students, and also if he knows any [answers to] questions specific about our program and counseling, and how that’s going to look changing in the future because there are some changes going on with that as well.”
More information on the walks will become available throughout the next semester. It’s unknown when the next walk will be held.