Last Thursday, students and staff were granted the day off from classes to celebrate and attend the investiture of Montclair State University President Jonathan Koppell. We are thrilled to see the future of Montclair State and what Koppell can do.
With the celebration of this new milestone, here are our suggestions for the future of our beloved institution.
As we use our voices over social media, writing articles and speaking publically, we don’t want to just be heard, we want to have a conversation. Students at Montclair State didn’t feel a strong connection with former president Susan Cole.
It’s not just about providing students a chance to be heard by the administration, but actually, conversing back and working together to better the school. We are not playing against each other, we are a team. Having more of a connection with students and creating an environment where students, staff, faculty and administration are more connected is key to a better Montclair State.
We hope Koppell not only listens to us as students but engages with us. So far it seems that he is very open to this, and that attitude should remain for the rest of his tenure as president.
Speaking of communication, we also ask that the administration improve the inner workings of student services. It feels as if every time you have to contact Red Hawk Central, your problem is passed from one person to another with all the communication in between being put on you, the student.
We encourage Koppell to take a look at the intricacies of the Montclair State administration and fill in those holes. It would make the student experience that much better.
An example of this is the team that tackles the difficult but imperative task of Title IX cases. Not too sure if Koppell can call up the numbers of Panera and Dunkin’ employees on campus, but currently Montclair State only has two Title IX coordinators. For a university that educates over 20,000 students a year, we need to have adequate resources for such a large body.
This lack of staff may be a result of the nationwide labor shortage. However, Montclair State accepted its largest group of students yet this semester. Hopefully, some of those extra funds can go toward creating new positions and hiring.
There needs to be more faculty and administrators not only to fulfill the needs of the students, but to ensure the safety of those students as well.
Koppell has claimed he wants to work toward making Montclair State a public service institution.
That seems like a fantastic idea. However, what does that mean for us as a student body? How do we fit into this?
The most newsworthy action that Montclair State took in the name of public service was financially assisting neighboring institution Bloomfield College back in March.
This move did save Bloomfield College from closing its doors for good, which is commendable on Montclair State’s part. But the whole thing felt very far removed from students.
For many of us, these years are the last of our education before we head off into the world, and we’d like it to be the best it can be.
Koppell did give us a glimpse of his plans for student involvement in his Presidential Investiture speech.
“My goal is ultimately that every Montclair [State] student will have a public service experience as part of their education here and we will become [New Jersey’s] premier public service university,” Koppell said.
Well, let’s start that goal now. This is a valiant initiative for Montclair State to take on and we, as students, want to help.
Overall, the students and staff are ready to enter a new era at Montclair State with Koppell and we can’t wait to see what the future holds. Maybe that future even has better working conditions for the poor Panera workers trying to get 40 orders ready at a time, but only time will tell.