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Montclair State University Fall 2021 Semester Report Card

by Avery Nixon

Our first almost-normal semester since the raging of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and we are thriving — mostly.

Montclair State University students are readjusting to regular life, learning to be regular students again. It’s been a bit rough, to say the least, in terms of actually having to attend classes and do work. We’ve been doing it for over 13 years, but some of us feel fresh out of kindergarten.

After a year of battling demons and isolation, figuring out how to open Zoom links and having to learn the same amount of knowledge as a first-year medical student just to convince Aunt Sharon vaccines won’t cause the zombie apocalypse, we now enter the post-pandemic future we’ve been waiting for.

It’s safe to say we all need a little more support than usual.

With that, here is Montclair State’s fall 2021 semester report card:

Reading Comprehension

The Montclarion has published several articles voicing the student body’s opinions, concerns and feelings on issues here at Montclair State.

I’d always encourage those in positions of power at the university to read what students have to say in The Montclarion.

Thankfully, the administration has had lots of feedback to what’s been published.

Montclair State’s President Dr. Jonathan Koppell has been hearing student voices. In an update on the students’ weekend access to New York City, Koppell has been very receptive, even stating that he is looking into potential options to make it easier for students to commute into the city on the weekends.

Further, in an editorial regarding Cafe Diem being closed in the beginning of the semester, dining services ended up hanging signs on the at-the-time closed dining location to inform the campus community of the closure, according to marketing manager Lindsey Anderson.

It’s refreshing to see changes in the school in the short amount of time I’ve been here. Hopefully soon we start to see more progress in our campus safety concerns in the near future.

Grade: B+

Communication Skills

The Montclair State administration might have to repeat this course.

Our university received a grand total of $140 million in COVID-19 relief funds to help the school and students during a time of financial distress.

Amazing, right? Well, it would’ve been if students knew about it.

“Despite the university’s efforts to get the word out, many students said they were unaware of the existence of the grants or the fact that they’re eligible for them,” The Montclarion reported.

The school should have had advisors or other administration speak to students about it and help them through the process. Clearly just an email was not sufficient.

Luckily, the school does communicate well about events and festivities on campus. At least I can enjoy Red Hawk Night before my extra shifts to afford textbooks.

Grade: C

Promotes a Positive Learning Environment

The administration finds redemption for its academic environment. With classes back in session, masks mandated and students able to learn in person again, we find ourselves thriving.

Most professors understand and relate to the problems faced during the pandemic, and there is a lot more empathy and accommodations for students now.

Students are back in person and able to make strong connections with new friends and teachers, which are much needed after a year of isolation. Art students are thriving with student pieces, plays and performances that wouldn’t be possible over Zoom.

The students even got to enjoy the lavish Winter Ball, “a faux red-carpet experience,” that provided some much-deserved glamour and fun.

On a social level, this school year has been a relief after a tough time in isolation.

Grade: A

While the administration receives contrasting grades across the board, we remind them it’s all out of love for our school. The student body wants Montclair State to be the best it can possibly be. For that to happen, constructive criticism has to be made and listened to.

Most importantly, I want to take this time to give my grade for home economics and cooking.

Student Center Cafe: A+

Sam’s Place: Parent-Teacher conference required.

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