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Editorial: Thumbs up, thumbs down for spring 2022

With the end of the semester on the horizon, The Scout is closing the semester with a look back at the positives and the negatives of the past 16 weeks. Here is The Scout’s spring 2022 edition of “Thumbs up, thumbs down.”

Lower credit requirement

Just over a month ago, the University Senate announced that a change in the amount of credits needed to graduate with a bachelor degree would be enacted, lowering the number of credits from 124 to 120 for all degrees from December 2022 and onward. While this message did not include an official reason as to why the change was made, it was a change that should be celebrated.

124 hours over four years is virtually impossible with a 15-credit workload each semester; unless you are fortunate enough to bring in credits from high school, or can complete an extra class during the summer or winter. The change allows students to feel less stressed about having enough credits to graduate on time, and while a four-credit difference isn’t a monumental change, it’s an important step that Bradley took in the right direction.

No more masks

For the first half of the semester, students and faculty were required to wear face masks in all indoor public spaces, with masks being optional for outdoor activities and events. In a March 25 email, University Communications announced that as COVID-19 cases remained steady, and masks would no longer be required starting on March 28, but were still recommended in classrooms unless requested by the instructor.

This policy update was immediately embraced by students and instructors alike as they began unmasking in the classrooms and public spaces while still respecting the choice of others to remain masked if they wanted to. Masks continue to be required at events when requested by speakers/performers, in medical and clinical environments and campus transportation services. After enduring two years of a pandemic, students feel relieved to have the opportunity to experience a cherished aspect of normalcy and see the full faces of their peers and professors for the first time this year.

No more “Built to Beyond” and “Here We Beyond”

The university finally made the wise decision to phase out these two slogans.

First off, neither one is grammatically correct. Maybe if they added a “go” and a comma, they would have been better received, but even then they were weak at best. The idea of going “beyond” has been done by many, many schools, and at this point it is drawn out.

While the message is accurate, as students are required to go beyond the classroom and get real-world experiences to graduate, what is the appeal for an incoming student when an institution that gives out doctorates can’t even come up with marketing tactics free of grammar mistakes? Hopefully, whatever is chosen in the future will not make The Scout editors cringe in disgust.

Parking issues

Within the last few weeks, Bradley students have seen a sharp increase in the amount of parking tickets given out. One example of this was students parking in the visitor’s lot, where many of whom had parked for short periods of time during the school year but were not previously issued parking citations.

Especially during times of unfavorable weather where off-campus students chose not to walk to class, the lack of available parking on Bradley’s campus does not allow many options if a designated lot is full and may hinder them in attending class. After months of not enforcing parking tickets in the visitor’s lot and other available spaces to park, followed by sudden enforcement with no formal university-wide communication on the issue, Bradley should enforce more consistent parking regulations as well as explore options to increase parking availability.

Vehicle thefts and break-ins

Not only has there been an increase in parking tickets, but there has also been an increase in vehicle thefts and break-ins. The victims have primarily been found in the St. James apartment complex parking lot. The vehicles were typically left unlocked in an open space where the suspects had easy access to enter.

The thefts got as far as vehicles being driven off of campus property a few miles away before being caught by the police. In one case, the suspects crashed the victim’s vehicle before fleeing from the scene on foot. As far as the break-ins went, typically the vehicles were only rummaged through in their glove compartments and center console, and any stolen items were usually of little importance or low cost, with an exception including a victim’s $1,900 necklace being stolen out of their car.

To limit the amount of thefts, posters were placed around campus reminding students to lock their cars and to take anything of value out of their vehicle, along with reporting any suspicious activity, but yet the thefts persisted. In order to ensure that no more vehicles are stolen or broken into, there should be more security measures in the parking lots at night to try and protect the students’ vehicles, such as security cameras and guards.

Lax sanctions in alcohol policy

In light of recent events, many students have referred back to the student handbook’s section on alcohol. If a student drives under the influence or commits “harm to others, violent behavior or destruction of property (major)” while under the influence, it takes two offenses until the student is suspended. What message is this sending to the student body? That hosting a party where citations are received deserves a harsher punishment than violence and harming others? C’mon, Bradley.

In addition to being lackluster, the sanctions are also confusing. The section cited above states:

  • Second Offense: $100 fine, Fresh Start, GAIN assessment, letter home, Disciplinary Probation, restitution for damages
  • Second Offense: Suspension from University

Clearly, the university does not put enough focus on its disciplinary policies to check for easily fixable mistakes like this.

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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.