With the end of the semester in sight, students are reflecting on the many ups, downs and in-betweens that have occurred on Bradley’s campus. The Scout editorial staff has compiled a list of what deserves a thumbs up, thumbs middle or thumbs down for the fall 2023 semester.
Thumbs up: Meal plan/QuickCash changes
In July, students received an email from university administration announcing that laundry in on-campus housing would be free. In addition, the QuickCash section of meal plans has been redistributed to provide students with more Dining Dollars. Both changes have been welcomed by students. Residents are less likely to overload washing machines, which often caused malfunctions, while also being able to grab snacks when they are unable to visit the dining halls to use meal swipes.
Thumbs up: Men’s basketball’s undefeated start
Despite their loss to Murray State on Wednesday, Bradley men’s basketball still started their season 6-0 for the first time since 1985-86. They did it by beating some pretty good teams, as four of the six were projected to finish in the top five of their respective conferences. These wins earned Bradley some national attention, earning their first vote in the AP Top 25 in 17 years. The Braves lost their best player to the transfer portal after last year, but it seems the team has not missed a step and could be well on their way to another MVC championship. There’s still a lot of games left to play, but their historic start is an encouraging sign.
Thumbs middle: iPads
Throughout the semester, all freshmen and certain departments had the opportunity to claim an iPad through Bradley’s partnership with T-Mobile. This program was started to create digital equality across the student body. However, in light of recent unpopular decisions on the heels of a budget deficit, many students are left wondering about the university’s priorities and if the introduction of iPads is a step forward or a step back.
Thumbs middle: Construction near Ren-Co
Getting around Bradley’s campus is hard enough, but add lane-closing construction and it makes it really inconvenient for students, faculty and staff to commute without delays and detours. The construction near Renaissance Coliseum has been a roadblock for many students and faculty that take that route, extending many commutes with no reported end in sight. While this is out of Bradley’s control, it still deserves a thumbs middle for the inconvenience it causes.
Thumbs down: Budget cuts
The obvious low point of the semester has been the looming potential program discontinuations. Since President Standifird’s initial announcement of the university’s budget shortfall, he released the list of potential cuts, which has not been well received by faculty or the student body. Many students and professors have been and will be directly impacted by these changes that affect the future of Bradley. Ahead of Standifird’s final decisions on the programs to be discontinued, students have been protesting and expressing concerns about the cuts that many deem to be unfair and unacademic.
Thumbs down: Students struck by cars
In November, multiple students were struck by cars while walking near Bradley’s campus. On Nov. 10, one Bradley student was hit at the intersection of University and St. James Streets. The driver, a non-Bradley-affiliated individual, was making a right-hand turn out of the Campustown parking lot. Just a few days later, a different vehicle struck two different students at the same intersection. Both drivers received a citation for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. The student who was hit in the first incident sustained a serious leg injury and the students from the second sustained minor injuries. While all three students were crossing the street legally, the frequency of these incidents have left many feeling unsafe.