Home OpinionEditorial EDITORIAL: Montclair State Spring 2024 Report Card

EDITORIAL: Montclair State Spring 2024 Report Card

by Cassandra Michalakis

To say it has been an eventful semester at Montclair State University would be an understatement. As always, there have been struggles that students have faced, as well, as new things the university has brought to the table. From FASFA troubles to new dining options, there’s a lot for students to talk about.

So without further ado, here is the spring 2024 report card.

Communication Skills

This semester, the new FAFSA forms steal the spotlight regarding student challenges. Montclair State’s handling of informing students how to proceed with the new changes was a mixed bag.

In terms of helping students navigate this issue, there was not much direct advice. The university sent emails in mid-April about a FAFSA seminar being offered in Spanish and one about submitting corrections if you got an error message. But by then, many students had already fallen into the confusion of the weird questioning.

When the application for the FAFSA form opened on Jan. 3, and follow-up emails were sent, three months had passed since students nationwide realized the full extent of the form’s unclear format. An article highlighting the difficulty of the form and how the administration handled it was written a month ago. Most emails about FAFSA included links to the Department of Education to get updates on what students can do, but having to sort through all that information can overwhelm students.

Suppose an official statement from the financial office had been released when students reached out to the university about their tuition. In that case, this might have eased their concern and lessened the amount of time spent filling out the form.

Grade: B-

Promotes a Positive Learning Environment

The introduction of the “Strong Student Campaign” had all professors announce the expectations students should strive to hold for themselves, and had them provide various resources and where to find them.

It is useful for freshmen who are part of programs and majors that demand multiple things from the students. The campaign goes over exercising, time-management and organization skills that weren’t emphasized or practiced in high school. This also benefits upperclassmen, creating a chance for them to have better relations with faculty in their department and allowing them to work together to facilitate getting through the semester’s difficulties.

Grade: B+


If anything was new this semester, or even this entire year, it has been the food options.

Gourmet Dining, the new dining service, introduced changes all year, including the spring semester. The latest addition has been Saxbys, a student-run cafe that allows Montclair State students to get a taste of managing a business while providing another opportunity for students to have a job close to school.

The arrival and departure of the Starbucks truck was met with mixed reactions. It was meant to replace Cafe Diem, a spot most students felt positively about with its cozy atmosphere and proximity to the library, making it convenient to grab a drink or snack while studying. Whether the cafe’s opening to become a fully functional Starbucks location will be affected by the student’s experience with “Teresa” is to be determined.

In the ever-present caffeine conundrum, students found Dunkin’s customer flow to be especially heavy, even with ordering ahead. Wait times became far longer than usual this semester in becoming the primary coffee venue on campus, and one can imagine what this looks like the last full week of the semester. What can we say? The students want their coffee and they want it as soon as possible.

Lastly, it is also worth mentioning the mandatory commuter dining deposit that grabbed people’s attention before the Fall 2023 semester remains part of the tuition bill. There is not much to say about the deposit’s usefulness. Students graduating this semester should see a return of the deposit, depending on how much they spent over since its implementation in the fall.

Grade: B

These concerns and criticisms drive us to be vocal to the administration about making the school better for current students and incoming ones. We hope to see the school continue with what works and hopefully “B” better on that which needs improvement.

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