While you were out

By Matt Daray

 Here’s what you might have missed while on summer vacation

As students head back to class, they might notice some changes around the university and the Carbondale area.

Summer brought many changes to the campus and to the Carbondale area, ranging from an increase in tuition,v to the ban on bars for Halloween being removed to President Glenn Poshard announcing his retirement. While each event is different, all will have an impact on the 2013-14 school year.

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Poshard’s Retirement 

Poshard announced his retirement during the university’s Board of Trustees retreat at Touch of Nature. Several weeks after the announcement, Poshard said he still thinks he made the right decision to retire June 30.

“I have no problems leaving the university at this point knowing that I think we’re in good shape in terms of leadership of the (Board of Trustees),” he said.

Poshard said he is retiring because he’s getting older, has served the university for a long time and wants to spend more time with his family. The university is heading in the right direction and now is an appropriate time to retire, he said.

Poshard has been a university community member for 40 years, serving as a student, civil worker, adjunct professor, vice chancellor, and president during his tenure.

Chancellor Rita Cheng said Poshard’s leadership will be missed.

“He leaves a great legacy for the university,” she said. “It’s wonderful that he has given notice for an appropriate time for his retirement.”

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Undergraduate Student Government president Adrian Miller said Poshard has been a great public servant to the area and always made students feel important.

“As a student, you often feel like you’re the lowest on the totem pole and Poshard makes you feel like you’re number one,” he said.

Halloween Bar Ban Lifted

The Carbondale City Council voted July 16 to lift a ban put in place in 1994 that kept all Carbondale bars on the strip closed on Halloween.

Starting in the early ’80s, riots became a common activity on Halloween, leading to multiple arrests and issues of alcohol poisoning, fighting, and property destruction. The annual Halloween bash garnered the school a party reputation and lead to the bars being shut down in 1994 and every year after. In 2000, the bars were open again, but riots ensued causing police to use tear gas and riot equipment to handle the crowds and lead to the closing of all bars on Oct. 31 every year since.

This Halloween, Carbondale will open the bars again, allowing Hangar 9, Stix and Sidetracks to open for business for the night.

Mayor Joel Fritzler said the results of the ban lift will be interesting.

“Staff basically presented us with four options. One was to do nothing, which I didn’t support, and one was how do we lift the ban,” he said. “The way the majority council went, there’s no telling what’s going to happen because, I’ve been saying all along, well, we need to do this in an organized fashion here, to have Main Street organize it or have some other legitimate group that can be responsible.”

Fritzler said this year could go either way in terms of success, but would like to see this year be different from the riot-filled Halloweens of the past. While other bars have opened up and the area has changed since the last time the Halloween bar ban was lifted, college students always stay the same no matter what generation they come from, he said.

Poshard said he remembers the infamous Halloweens of the past and hopes the city and campus are prepared in case something similar happens again.

“I remember the way it was when we had those Halloween celebrations and how out of hand it got,” he said. “I’m hoping the planning, the effort that’s being put in by not only our security department, but our campus and the city working together, I’m hoping that sort of thing won’t occur again.”

Poshard said he hopes the partying won’t get out of control like it used to, but there’s no way to tell what will happen this far in advance. He said if common sense and good judgment is used, the lift on the ban could benefit the city and the campus economically.

Cheng said she does not think Halloween will be as wild as it has been in the past this year and the city of Carbondale will have everything under control, especially since only three bars will be open.

“The number of establishments they’re talking about is very minor,” she said. “I think the city did their research and will take the steps they need to take to ensure people will have a safe and fun time.”

Miller said as long as students are smart and mature, Halloween can be successful this year.

“I’m from Carbondale. I remember how crazy it was but I believe we can have a successful Halloween as long as people are safe, they are respectful to each other, and they are responsible,” he said.

Lawsuit Against the Board of Trustees

A lawsuit was filed against the Board of Trustees on July 8 on behalf of Nolan Sharkey, a second year law student, who claims student trustee Jesse Cler failed to meet the required amount of signatures needed to be added on the ballot for the April campus election.

The student trustee sits on the board as a member and has the power to affect university policies.

Poshard said he is not involved with the lawsuit but thinks legal action might be required to resolve the situation.

“(The lawsuit) is still pending. It may require a run-off election or some other solution to this,” he said.

Tuition Increase

The Board of Trustees approved a three percent increase to tuition for the 2014 fiscal year.

Poshard said the tuition increase was to guarantee the university could afford to offer quality programs while waiting for the state to pay the university the millions of dollars it owes.

“There’s always a consideration of operational funds that are needed to perform the functions of the university every year,” he said. “We always take a look at the need for revenues as well as programmatic efforts, everything we need to sustain.”

Poshard said the dire financial situation of the state has caused the university to find other means of funding itself. He said while there was a tuition increase, the university’s tuition is still cheaper than all other state research universities.

Miller said while the tuition increase might disappoint students, it’s a necessary evil.

“I hate tuition increases, but you look at the situation and realize it’s an issue across the board,” he said. “It’s an issue that goes beyond university administration, it goes to state politics and it goes to the federal level.”

Chancellor Appoints New Staff Member

Cheng appointed Matt Baughman as assistant to the chancellor and Rae Goldsmith as chief marketing and communications officer.

Baughman served as assistant to the director and associate director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. He would like to improve the university using his talents, he said.

“I hope people will recognize that I have a real passion for SIU and I hope my 15 years at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute demonstrated my abilities to be organized and follow through on projects and work collaboratively across campus with people,” he said. “I think those are attributes that are needed for this position.”

Baughman said he is getting a feel for the job but hopes his skills will make him a valuable asset at the university.

Goldsmith served as vice president for advancement resources at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in Washington D.C. and was the associate vice president for communications and marketing at the University of Louisville.

Cheng said the new appointees are qualified and will help improve the overall quality of the university.

“I think the campus will very much benefit by their expertise,” she said. “The importance of both positions meant that it was really critical for us to find class A quality and we’ve done that.”

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