Shortfalls of Bucknell’s University Report

AP Howell, Contributing Writer

Every year, Bucknell University releases a report detailing its recent accomplishments, future goals and current workings toward those goals. This report is entitled “The University Report,” and the 2022 version highlights several notable achievements that are paving the way for the University to fulfill its four main commitments as they were previously laid out in The Plan for Bucknell 2025: 

  1. “Cultivating academic excellence across the institution,
  2. Building and sustaining a diverse community in which all students, faculty and staff experience a sense of belonging supported by a foundation of inclusion, equity and access,
  3. Providing an integrated and exemplary residential student experience, 
  4. Creating a sustainable future through the responsible stewardship of the University’s financial, natural, human and other resources.”

Some of the accomplishments highlighted in the report include: the creation of the Gateway Scholars Program, which “will meet the full demonstrated financial need for 20 first-generation students each year for the next four years”, hosting a successful Bucknell Forum speaker series dedicated to embracing diverse perspectives of the State of American Democracy, meeting and exceeding enrollment goals two years running and the creation and dedication of the Bucknell Greenway, among a slew of others. So implies the report, Bucknell is committed to evolution and innovation for both the campus community and the campus itself.

In all of these “achievements,” there is one critical issue that cannot be overlooked: the campus housing crisis. According to the Bucknell Housing FAQ, the University guaranteed housing all four years, but growing class sizes have forced many students, mainly those going into their sophomore and junior year, onto a housing waitlist. Despite the construction of the new apartments that will replace the old mods, the number of available beds on campus is set to only increase by roughly 115 beds according to recent reports from Housing and Communications. With these record-breaking class sizes that will likely continue to grow, this upgrade is simply not enough. The university must begin to make some critical decisions about the future if they wish to stay true to their original housing guarantee.

It is also worth noting that, in the report, the section which expands on diversity accomplishments and goals is only about half of a page long and consists only of details from Bucknell Forum speakers such as Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and CNN News Anchor Jake Tapper. For a university which prides itself on its progressive and forward-thinking approach, tangible results from diversity and inclusion initiatives are either relatively non-existent or severely under-appreciated and overlooked by campus administration.

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