Students react positively to seventeenth president

By Allie Mongan

Writer

John C. Bravman, recently inaugurated as the University’s 17th president, has been warmly welcomed by most on campus.

“I appreciate that he treats students as he would treat any other adult member of the campus community and asks for student opinions,” said Sonali Basak ’12, an undergraduate executive intern who works closely with the Office of the President.

Bravman has already started trying to improve many aspects of campus.

Several years ago the Board of Trustees started working on plans for Academic West, and this fall Bravman was able to drive a front loader at the groundbreaking ceremony.

With the recent events pertaining to campus climate, President Bravman has made changing our campus climate one of his platforms.

Some students have expressed concern about his decision to focus so much attention on this controversial and difficult subject matter. Having a new president come in and decide to start tackling a large issue is surprising to some, but others like that he is not afraid to take initiative.

“He has also been direct about things that need to be changed. You can see that in the way he approached issues of campus climate,” Basak said.

While on campus, Bravman has worked with the Board of Trustees in the planning of new student housing. Plans involve the creation of four new residence halls and a commons building on the “Farm” south of Bertrand Library.

The plans have yet to be approved by the University or the Board, but University representatives are trying to work out a strategy to make the building of the residence halls accompany the building of Academic West.

A special committee on athletics and recreation has also been one of the president’s new initiatives. This committee was put in place to evaluate various dimensions of athletics and recreation on campus and its role in campus life.

The University’s relationship with the Patriot League and the role of merit aid has also been discussed by the committee and in a forum held on Oct. 8.

Students have expressed their approval of the President and his various visions for our campus.

“I think President Bravman has approached his presidency with an appropriate amount of deference and respect for tradition as well as innovation. He has made significant and visible efforts to become acquainted with the student body,” undergraduate executive intern Lindsay Machen ’11 said.

Bravman has met with students in the Bison, at their downtown houses and in his office. Having this open communication with the student body has had a positive impact on many and he seems to “prize the student perspective and seeks out opportunities to hear about Bucknell affairs from the students directly,” Machen said.

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