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Editorial: Thumbs up, thumbs down for fall 2021

As per tradition, The Scout is wrapping up the semester by looking at the positives and the negatives throughout the last 16 weeks. Here are our thumbs up and thumbs down for the fall of 2021.

VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

Bradley is keeping its promises in regards to improving diversity, equity and inclusion. Not only was a position created for this commitment and put at the executive level, but the committee involved student input whenever possible.

Prior to the hiring process, students of different sexualities, genders, ethnicities, races, cultural backgrounds and abilities were invited to openly speak about their issues and adversities on campus. The committee was willing to hear where Bradley has failed and how students want to see change. 

Students even had a chance to talk to the candidates and get an understanding of their intentions and plans for Bradley. This could have helped students feel at ease by hearing the experience and qualifications of the candidates as well as giving the search feedback for each applicant.

U.S. News rankings 

Bradley snagged some positive headlines in September when it garnered high rankings in multiple categories in the U.S. News and World Report’s “best colleges” rankings. Bradley tied for second place for Regional Universities in the Midwest and claimed the No. 3 spot for Most Innovative Regional Universities in the Midwest. 

These rankings reflect that Bradley is a competitive, recognizable brand in the higher education landscape.

In-person classes and events

For the first time since the pandemic started, all full-time students were back on campus. Despite this influx of in-person interaction, COVID-19 numbers stayed low, with no significant spikes and no all-campus quarantines. 

In-person events also returned to campus for the first time, including Family Weekend, Welcome Week and Homecoming. For freshman and sophomore students, the real college experience was finally attainable, and junior and senior students were able to enjoy campus-wide activities that they had not been able to partake in since they were underclassmen.

Student Senate impeachment process

Student Senate impeached and removed the student body president last month, and to this day little information has been made public. The organization cited rules in its constitution and bylaws regarding confidentiality when asked for information by several users on social media. 

Students were not made aware that an impeachment trial was occurring until after the decision was made. 

However, some of this “thumbs down” also goes to the students, since they were given opportunities to voice their concerns at several General Assembly meetings as well as a listening session, all advertised on Student Senate’s social media, and turnout from members of the public was consistently scarce.

Student Senate cannot reverse the decisions that it made, but the members of the organization should take a closer look at the constitution and bylaws to avoid similar backlash in the future.

“Here we beyond/Built to beyond” 

Early in the semester, many students and faculty noticed the flags lining Bradley Avenue and around campus with the slogan “Onward, ever onward” were no more. Replacing them were flags with new Bradley slogans “Here we beyond” and “Built to Beyond.”

Grammatically, the phrase is a head-scratcher and outsourcing the job to create the new slogan was an unwise use of money, which could have been used for other ventures. Bradley hired the same company who created a “Butler Beyond” slogan for Butler University, where University President Standifird previously held the same position, for the job. 

“Here we go beyond” or “Built to go beyond” are much more sensible slogans, and the extra wordiness is worth saving the inevitable question of what the slogan means. 

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The Scout is published by members of the student body of Bradley University. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the University.