Twenty minutes west of Cabrini, in the residential area of Collegeville, Pa., is Ursinus College. Ursinus is much like Cabrini in some aspects-it is comparable in size, has traditional dorms, modern apartments and well lived-in houses, and it is in the middle of a well-populated neighborhood, which includes a police station and townhouses directly next to the college.
But something sets Ursinus a caliber above Cabrini. Ursinus is a seven day-a- week college with seven-day a week students. A major reason for this is that 90 percent of its students are residents and a majority of them stay on the weekend.
It does not take a rocket scientist to conclude that Cabrini is a commuter school with a four-day a week resident population. The college is seeking to end this problem by having 25 percent of classes on Fridays in hopes that students will start staying on the weekends.
The problem lies deeper than just holding classes on Fridays. The college needs to look at whom they are accepting. Ursinus students stay on the weekend because they want to be at college and they are making the most of their experience. They realize they are at college to get an education, have fun and grow.
What is Ursinus doing that Cabrini is not? A major aspect is the admissions process. Ursinus prides itself on a selective admissions process-they require an essay, high school recommendations and quality SAT scores.
Cabrini is trying to up its admissions standards and rightfully so. This year’s freshmen class has a large number of honors students and the average SAT scores went up 50 points from the class before. However, the college still needs to fine tune its admissions process. If the college wants to continue being more selective as it claims, then it is going to have to require more of its students in the admissions process. Shouldn’t students be expected to demonstrate more thoroughly that they want to attend Cabrini?
The Campus Activities and Programming Board is tireless in trying to get students more involved. CAP keeps encouraging students to come out to its events and see what it has to offer. They say that the student has to change the atmosphere of the college, and they are right in that aspect. But that is only half the battle.
It is clear that the biggest reason Ursinus students stay on the weekends is because there is life on the weekends for the average 18 to 22-year-old. Sure the college brings the occasional magician or mind reader, but it is not a staple of the college. Instead, Ursinus has things college students want to participate in-parties, bands, and spirited sporting events that the school takes pride in.
Cabrini should and could be doing all of these things. Ursinus requires every guest to register with its Public Safety and carry a registration card around with him or her. At the doors of every party, there is someone checking the registration card-if you do not have a registration card, you cannot go to the party. The people of the house or the apartment register the parties, they are responsible for everything that happens at the parties, and they are responsible for having the party end at 2 a.m. There are also two sober people at each party, and there is an assortment of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks available.
The administration at Cabrini would argue that no one under the age of 21 is allowed in the presence of alcohol. The students would argue that clubs in Philadelphia are able to enforce the rule that you can be 18 to get in, but need to be 21 to drink.
The administration would also say that bands couldn’t come to Cabrini past a certain point because of the noise it would create for the residents nearby. Ursinus has bands come frequently and they play outside and inside the houses, which are directly in front of residential houses and across the street from a police station.
What Cabrini needs to decide is what direction it wants to take and how to get there. Many students, faculty and staff want to make the college an exciting, high quality, 24/7 campus. Loquitur has thrown out a few ideas in this editorial. What do you think? If you have ideas, let’s start a dialogue in the spring semester. Send your ideas to Loquitur@cabrini.edu.
Posted to the web by Stephanie Mangold