The Bradley bubble became a little thinner this year.
Five students were the victims of violent crimes or attempted violent crimes in the West Bluff. Two of those students were robbed on campus, and one was assaulted near Fredonia Avenue.
As a result, University Police reacted by establishing a Fredonia detail, which means an officer is located near greek row.
Most recently, a student was asked for his money while walking through Campustown. When he refused and began walking away, a man exited a car with a gun.
So, at the request of the university, the Peoria Police Department began extra patrols in the neighborhood that will last through the spring semester.
2. MAP Grants
Students from across the state fought for the reinstatement of MAP Grants last fall.
But no other school had quite the level of involvement that Bradley did.
Former Student Body President Kyle Malinowski and the Student Senate executive board hosted a summit on campus at the beginning of October with several schools to organize the state-wide movement for the grants.
And Gov. Pat Quinn even stopped on campus to help whoop students into action.
In the end, the state legislature approved funding for the program the same day that several hundred students from schools all over Illinois came together to protest the lack of funding.
Last summer, the legislature was unable to balance the budget, which led to funding for MAP being halted.
For more than 10 years, students pleaded for condoms on campus. In March, those students’ wishes came true.
Students can now receive 15 condoms a month for $1 if they attend a Help Empower and Teach sexual health demonstration.
“All it takes is 20 minutes of your time to get condoms and sexual health information,” H.E.A.T. member Ashley Porter told the Scout this month. “For them to make that small effort for the rest of their time here is a great thing any student can do.”
Students told the Scout they thought the presentations were helpful. In the first two weeks, about 80 students attended the presentations and 10 picked up condoms.
In November, the ForeWarn system was used for police and safety purposes for the first time since its 2007 inception.
But that wasn’t the last time. In April, students also received two messages alerting them to campus danger.
Both incidents raised questions from students about how ForeWarn was used. Both messages included spelling mistakes, and students thought the messages were unclear.
“I was a bit confused on what the text meant,” said junior psychology major Hayley Braatz of the April incident. “It just said ‘intruder on campus.’ I felt like the ambiguity was a bit unsettling.”
University Police Chief Dave Baer said it might be possible to include more information in future ForeWarn texts.
Campuses nationwide feared two words first semester: swine flu.
The virus seemed to impact Bradley less than other universities, with only a few students being sent home. None actually went to the hospital, which was the only way to be officially diagnosed with H1N1.
Although swine flu vaccinations were approved in September, Bradley did not receive any until the end of November.
The university purchased extra hand sanitizer for campus and made cleaning supplies for public places more prevalent. It also heavily publicized its three C plan.
“Cover your cough in your sleeve, clean your hands frequently and contain your illness,” said Medical Director of Health Services Jessica Higgs.
Bradley has been without a mascot for about 10 years.
And it’s been without one that students actually care about for decades.
But when Student Senate passed a resolution this spring urging University President Joanne Glasser to form a committee, that resolution was denied.
At the beginning of April, a referendum urging the same
thing was overwhelmingly approved by the student body at elections.
That referendum was also denied, citing the need to
wait for NCAA and Higher Learning Commission reaccreditation.
7. Problems in the dorms
Students returned from Spring Break to a few extra guests in Geisert Hall.
Bed bugs were reported in a few rooms in the dorm. All the rooms belonged to resident advisers.
Bradley sprayed the rooms, and there haven’t been any word about more bedbugs since.
But about a block to the south in University Hall, there was another kind of living creature.
Black mold was reported growing in several students’ rooms. Bradley cleaned the mold, and said that it was a variety that was fairly common and not harmful.
Bradley began its search for the second-highest ranking officer in the fall.
A committee accepted many applications, and, in the spring semester, brought three candidates to campus.
One of those candidates was invited back to campus, but, in the end, was not offered the position.
The provost is the chief academic officer for the university.
David Glassman, the dean of liberal arts at the University of Southern Indiana, has been invited to campus next week as a candidate for the position.
“Now that the search announcement has been made it is important to proceed with the process and identify qualified candidates as soon as possible,” University President Joanne Glasser told the Scout in September. “The goal is to get the position filled as soon as the right person is found for the job.”
9. New year, new athletic director
Beginning Jan. 1, Michael Cross took the reigns of the athletic department as the university’s ninth athletic director.
Cross was selected through a nationwide search and had previously served three-and-a-half years as the Executive Associate Athletic Director at Princeton University.
“I feel fortunate that Bradley chose me,” he said. “All factors combined make this job incredibly attractive.”
Ken Kavanagh left the AD post at the end of last school year for the same title at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Between Kavanagh’s exit and Cross’ hiring, Executive Athletic Director Virnette House Browning served as the interim AD.
10. Graduation speaker changes
Most students aren’t sure when the 10th biggest story of the year occurred.
Whereas in years past all graduating seniors had the opportunity to audition to be the student speaker for their own commencement, the university elected to take a new route this year.
Under the new plan, Student Affairs staff nominated and selected candidates to go through an audition process.
Seniors weren’t made aware of the change, and some were upset when they found out through the grapevine they wouldn’t get a chance to try out.
“Auditioning to be a commencement speaker has always been a tradition, but now my chance is gone,” senior English major Ben Koch told the Scout in April. “I’ve always viewed graduation as something for the students, not just the university. Now not all graduating seniors have the opportunity to share their feelings.”