Our Opinion: Marywood earns C- on annual Report Card

Our Opinion: Marywood earns C- on annual Report Card

Photo credit/ Alex Weidner

The Wood Word , Editorial Staff

It’s that time of the semester, where grades are the biggest concern on students’ and faculty’s minds. But who says that students are the only ones who should get graded? Continuing a tradition started last year of a report card (view Marywood’s 2013-2014 report card here), let’s look at the past year, from the good, the bad, and the somewhere-in-between, and see how Marywood’s grade fares on this year’s Wood Word Report Card.

 

The Good  

  • Marywood’s chapter of the Student Veterans Alliance was named 2014 Chapter of the Year by the national conference for the Student Veterans Alliance. The chapter was picked out of 1,200 nationwide  chapters, and, as Lauren Williams, director of Military and Veteran Services and chapter adviser said, it was a “great honor” for the group.
  • This is doubly true when viewed in conjunction with Marywood’s recent Dual Admissions Agreement with Luzerne County Community College, which makes it easier for for LCCC students to transfer their credits to Marywood.
  • After the previous issues with accreditation, Marywood’s nursing program was granted reaccreditation through 2022 last fall, view here.  As Dr. Barbara S. Higgins, chair of the nursing department, said, the reaccreditation of the program “validates” it.
  • Finally, while it may seem inappropriate to label this as a “positive” for the University, Marywood graciously opened its doors last fall to host the viewing of Cpl. Bryon Dickson, after he was killed in an attack on the Blooming Grove Pennsylvania State Police barracks. By allowing the viewing to take place on campus, the University effectively extended a hand to a grieving community, showing support in a time of need.
  • The University also recently announced a new smoke-free policy. On July 1, the new policy will take effect which will ban smoking of all forms on campus. Although this will certainly encourage a healthier lifestyle on campus, it may seem like an attack on an individual’s right to make choices regarding health.

The In Between

The Bad

  • The winter took its toll on campus, cracking parking lots and bursting pipes in the Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts, significantly damaging the snack room and other parts of the building, showing the brutality of the past winter. As of April 19, repairs have not begun.
  • This year, administrators also announced that Marywood University will sell the South Campus after purchasing it in 2011 for $500,000. This came amidst concerns over why the campus was purchased in the first place, along with a typical lack of transparency from the University regarding the sale of the campus, as officials such as Dr. Alan Levine refusing to comment on the property’s listing.
  • Perhaps the most controversial of all the stories this year at the University was the hanging of an upside-down and defaced flag in the Rotunda of the Liberal Arts Center in protest of the recent events of Ferguson, Mo. The act drew ire from numerous people on campus, from faculty, staff, students, and student veterans. The responses from both the University and other individuals was problematic at best. Many individuals displayed a total lack of understanding for the law as well as the First Amendment. The University’s response was also problematic, as they seemed to focus more on making the issue “go away,” as opposed to allowing the incident to become a learning experience for students and others.

The Grade 

Ultimately, the year had some very high points, but some very low points, too. The awards won by groups on campus and Marywood itself will do quite a bit to attract students, but issues like the total lack of transparency from University officials are consistent, to say the least. While the high points were high indeed, the bad and not-so-good slightly outweigh them.

Marywood gets a C- for the 2014-2015 school year.