Things we want to see accomplished at WU in 2010

As the Washington University community begins 2010, we have decided to once again submit our list of expectations for the new year. These are a combination of coming events that we think it important to highlight, general trends we wish to commend or decry and a prospective list of some of the issues we think should command the Wash. U. community’s attention over the upcoming semester.

Finances

First on our list is the question of finances. As the effects of this disastrous economic season continue to ripple outward, the administration must now prepare for another round of painful budget cuts. We have, in these pages, previously commended the administration for its commitment to its students on financial aid. The “Opening Doors to the Future” challenge grant launched last September is a $150 million fund drive aimed at private individuals and corporations and is set to continue until 2014. Its explicit aim is to insure that Wash. U. can retain its commitment to economic diversity. We applaud the drive’s intentions though we wish it didn’t involve calling our parents at dinner time.

Safety

Following the recent assault of a graduate student off campus, multiple apartment robberies and a history of muggings in the area, the University has promised to install more blue light phones and to move laundry rooms out of off-campus apartment basements where possible. We urge the University and WUPD to be more proactive in protecting students, especially off campus.

We hope that students will work together with law enforcement in order to ensure that crime rates drop in the upcoming year.

Overprogramming

We applaud Student Union for resolving to address its scheduling issues. In the past, students wishing to attend many SU-sanctioned functions found themselves making painful choices on overloaded weekends. Thus, the announcement that SU is attempting to space things out this semester is a welcome one. This is an easy fix to make, and we hope that Student Union delivers on its promise.

WebSTAC improvements

Last semester, the editorial board was pleasantly surprised by the innovations to WebSTAC that were quietly implemented. The addition of a map to the student schedule pane was particularly useful. While we long to see a wholesale redesign of the system that unifies all of the portals that students use most frequently, we thank whoever is responsible for improving the moribund interface all the same. WebSTAC still remains cranky and archaic by modern standards, however; as such, we ask that you keep it up, whoever you are.

Sustainable operations

In a recent campus-wide e-mail, the chancellor also directed our attention to Sustainable Operations Leadership Council’s new Strategic Plan for Environmentally Sustainable Operations. This plan is long overdue and we are happy to see that it was finally released. The plan details how the school intends to square its rapidly expanding square-footage with its goals of sustainability. Their stated intention in making the plan public at this stage is to invite feedback from the student body. If you have an opinion about campus sustainability, we suggest you check it out.

Summary

We might sum up many of the above points by relating that one of the most impressive changes we perceived over the last semester was a sustained interest in student activism. From the Right Side of History’s controversial co-opting of the W.I.L.D. stage to the Mothers dress-code violation controversy, we were gratified to see so much of the campus wrapped up in the causes of the community. Above all else we’d like to see your enthusiasm continue unabated.