2011 was an emotional year for the Owls.
We prayed for our fellow students abroad who were effected by the earthquake in Japan. We joined forces to rally against state budget cuts in Harrisburg. We laughed, cried and cheered with our football team all the way to its first bowl win since 1979.
But the emotional rollercoaster isn’t done yet. 2012 holds both promises and problems for North Broad, and this is what we can
The new face of Temple
In September, President Ann Weaver Hart announced her resignation. After June 30, Hart will step down and make way for the 10th president of the university. Since mid-fall last year, university faculty has held roundtable discussions with Temple Student Government Student Body President Colin Saltry as the student representative to determine what the most important qualities are in a president as Temple moves forward.
Upon Hart’s announcement, students expressed complaints of her lack of transparency and accomplishments to the university, among others. Whoever fills her position will have to quell these criticisms in order to meet the needs of the student body, as well as guide the university through its next stages in the 20/20 plan and navigate through the budget cut conundrum facing Pennsylvania’s public higher learning institutions.
The Changing face of North Broad
Pearson and McGonigle halls and the new architecture building were both expected to be completed by September 2011, but are still under construction. While the university waits to complete these two projects of the 20/20 plan, the South Gateway Residence Hall will also come closer to completion this year.
According to the 20/20 plan’s website, the university is also planning and designing a new Science Education and Research building at 12th Street and Polett Walk. While the start and completion dates have not yet been announced, the heart of Main Campus may begin to drastically change in the coming years.
State appropriations & tuition woes
For the 2008-09 academic year, tuition cost approximately $10,858 for in-state students and $19,878 for out-of-state. This year, it rose to $13,006 in-state and $22,832 out-of-state. With increasing state budget cuts, there’s no telling yet how broke incoming and returning students will go this fall.
Last year, rumors surfaced claiming the university will go private, though these rumors were never confirmed. As attendance rate continues to rise and state appropriations decline, fact remains that students will bear the bulk of the weight.
Athletics to gain support
For the past 30 years or so, the Cherry and White’s only claims to fame were Bob Saget, Bill Cosby and the men’s basketball team. That is until Temple turned the tables on college athletics. The football team gained its first bowl win in more than 30 years last December, the club ice hockey team earned its first-ever entrance to the American Collegiate Hockey Association Nationals, Bernard Pierce set a new program rushing touchdown record and the men’s and women’s basketball teams made strong appearances in the NCAA tournament.
Though Temple wasn’t offered a bid to the Big East Conference, the athletic teams appeared on ESPN and made college sports headlines more often than they have in the past. Maybe this year the Owls will finally crush Penn State.
The Presidential Race
With the budget an ever-present problem for legislators and administrators, the 2012 election could bring interesting results to the state’s public universities. With the Republican National Committee mid-caucus–and candidates throwing their hats in an out of the ring every day–there’s no telling right now what the future holds. And while Mayor Michael Nutter has made his dedication to education very well known, a republican president to replace President Barack Obama could have interesting effects on our liberal city, should they win.
And, as columnist Brandon Baker pointed out [“Republicans move out of closet and into mainstream,” page 15], some republican candidates are reevaluating their stances on gay marriage, especially Mitt Romney.
The second Second Coming
The world is slated to spontaneously combust on Dec. 21, or so suggests the Mayan calendar. Expect to see more than one angry student flipping Student Financial Services the bird in the days preceding Judgment Day.
Alexis Sachdev can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.