Big changes at Mercyhurst

Daniel Leonard, Staff writer

Recently experiencing numerous changes, the Mercyhurst community has welcomed new staff members, modifications in traditions and renovations in the campus itself.

With new deans in both the Walker College of Business and the Tom Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences, I have heard some concern about what this means for each college and the university.

The other reaction to these faculty changes, one I completely stand by, is excitement for the future and possibly a new perspective on old issues.

While we’re thinking about the Intelligence department, though, who could forget about the change in the location of the 24-hour lounge to become a new Cyber Security Lab?

It’s a great change for the Intelligence department without a doubt, but it does take a public space that was open to students of all majors and simultaneously puts the 2017 senior class gift of a coffee bar in limbo.

Yes, the Center for Academic is the new study lounge, but it was practically that before.

I guess it just feels as if the university may have prioritized one major over the other 50-plus on campus.

At the end of the day, I’m just grateful we still have a 24-hour lounge with the Café Diem’s extended hours, especially now that they accept Laker Loot and Dining Dollars.

This change meant that whether we’re stopping by for breakfast or pulling an all-nighter writing a paper we’ve been procrastinating on, we can still get an addictive cappuccino till midnight during the week.

Speaking of food options on campus, although the construction of Ryan Hall has woken plenty of us up before our alarms and will exclusively house sophomores, the new food options will be open to all students, will add a couple new dining options and will act as another study area.

Overall, the new tobacco-free campus policy has been a success with visitors, students and faculty, and has even helped some quit smoking completely.

Unlike the tobacco-free campus policy, the newest addition to the core curriculum, Beyond the Gates, hasn’t left all the students who participated this past fall with as clear of a response.

Some of my friends have said it was an enlightening experience, while others remain a bit confused about the course they took last semester. Then you have those of us that just enjoyed it, pure and simple.

As a Hospitality Management student, it gave me the opportunity to interact with a group of people I wouldn’t have met otherwise and see them in a different light.

I think it’s only understandable that the first semester of the course would have its bugs, but have faith that they will be resolved as time goes on.

Looking towards the future, I hope everyone else is getting used to change because there has been talk about a new system in place that will send a text when once of us has a package in the mailroom.

Our campus has experienced one change after another this year, and while they may leave some of us with mixed feelings, I’d like to acknowledge the benefit of each and believe they are in the best interests of the Mercyhurst community.