EDWARDSVILLE - As move-in day for incoming freshmen and upperclassmen studying this fall at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville comes and goes, something has everyone buzzing around the “E.” So many changes have occurred this past summer at SIUE that it has some students and staff feeling like they are coming to a whole new school.
With former Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe exiting the university in late July to pursue a career at Chippewa Valley Technical College as the vice president of instruction, Dr. Steven Hansen will serve as interim chancellor for a one-year appointment. Dr. Hansen served as the interim dean of the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences during the past academic semester. While Dr. Hansen serves as chancellor, a search for a more permanent fixture will be conducted.
That is not the only thing that has changed about SIUE. As of July 1, 2015, the SIUE campus is now smoke-free. This ban was implemented after the state of Illinois passed the Smoke Free Campus Act in Aug. 2014. Students, staff and other university visitors are banned from smoking “any and all tobacco related products,” according to SIUE’s new rule. This includes the use of traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars and vaporizer pens. A smoke free task force was organized by the university to enforce the policy. Anyone found to be violating the act would be disciplined in accordance to the progressive discipline policy the university has in place.
In an effort to make the campus more eco-friendly, SIUE Parking Services is trying out a new carpool ridesharing program, entitled Cougar Carpool. Commuting students who do not live on campus have the opportunity to receive discounted parking passes if they sign up for the option to drive themselves and other students to and from campus.
Parking Services is going through several more changes other than Cougar Carpool. Students, faculty and visitors who receive parking citations will have to pay $20 for parking in the wrong lot, expired meters and other simple violations. In the past, tickets for similar citations have been $15.
A tech-savvy solution for extending parking meter time is also being introduced this fall semester. Mobile application Whoosh will allow anyone parking in Lots B and C on campus to extend their parking time on campus right from their smart devices. It is up to the user, however, to decide if the 35-cent transaction fee is worth not walking back to their vehicle to process an extension manually.
The ongoing changes that the university is undergoing is a large part of the growth involved with a relatively young school. Although some dislike change, it is clear that most of the things being done are to benefit the school in a positive way.
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