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Thumbs up, thumbs down spring 2024

With the end of the semester fast approaching, students are reflecting on the many ups, downs and in-betweens from the past few months. The Scout editorial staff has compiled a list of what deserves a thumbs up or thumbs down for the spring 2024 semester.

Thumbs up: Bradley awarded multiple grants

Bradley has been awarded three significant grants this semester that will be used for various campus projects. Thanks to these financial awards, the coming years will see renovations to Olin Hall laboratories and the Williams Dining Hall. Bradley’s Partnerships for Enhancing ERI Research program has also received $1.9 million in funding. Lastly, a grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology will support the development of an engineering laboratory in BECC. Altogether, these grants are a welcome investment into students’ academic experience.

Thumbs up: New J-term destinations

The prospect of traveling abroad has always excited Bradley students, and now they have the opportunity to broaden their horizons a little bit more. For the upcoming 2025 J-term, students can go to Dharamsala, India. While there, they will stay at the campus of The Institute of Tibetan Buddhism and Dialectics. Students will also visit places typically closed to the public, making the announcement of this new and exciting travel destination an obvious upside for the semester. 

Thumbs up: Opening of Women’s & LGBTQ+ Centers 

The student center basement welcomed two new diversity spaces, the Women’s Center and the LGBTQ+ Kaleidoscope Center in February. These additions to campus aim to provide safe spaces and promote a welcoming environment. The centers also supply resources such as feminine products, more information about these communities and fidget toys to provide stress relief.

Thumbs down: Hate crime on campus 

Before returning from spring break, reports of politically-motivated vandalism on the historically Jewish Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house emerged. The words “Supports Genocide” were spray painted onto the wall of the home along with “Free Palestine” on the sidewalk near the entrance. The incident was classified as a hate crime, and Jewish students felt targeted by the defacement, leading to a prompt response from the university president. Meanwhile, pro-Palestinian students felt the categorization of the incident was disingenuous and an attempt to discredit their advocacy, resulting in heightened tensions between all parties involved. Regardless of intent, the vandal’s actions were misguided and promoted unwarranted fear and unease across campus.

Thumbs down: Commencement ceremony changes

Changes to this year’s commencement ceremony have left much to be desired from university administration. Previously held as a singular ceremony at the Peoria Civic Center, administration decided that there would be two, at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively, at Renaissance Coliseum. The continued lack of communication from administration has further strained the already uneasy relationship between the university and its future alumni. The potential benefits of less traffic and a shorter, more tolerable ceremony would have been better received if the university communicated with the student body.  

Thumbs down: New dining hall system

Earlier this semester, Bradley attempted to integrate another update to the Dining Services network. The update was aimed to improve the swipe system, making it more efficient for staff to find items or process swipes. Upon installation, however, no items from Center Court or the P.O.D. appeared and cashiers had to enter prices manually. While the targeted problem was resolved, there appears to be an ongoing issue where every fourth person who tries to swipe at a dining hall will be denied. Hopefully these kinks will be worked out over the summer and the updated system will no longer cause hassles for dining hall workers or students.

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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.