New Buildings on Campus: How will they affect us?

FullSizeRenderSamantha Barbagallo

Staff Writer ‘15

Merrimack has begun construction on yet another new building on campus. The Merrimack Beacon sat down with President Hopey and discussed these new changes and how they will affect us as students.

This building is set to house 350 students once complete. Next Fall, only the first half will be complete and it will contain 180 beds. But how will this new building affect current students? Will freshmen be allowed to live there? Is the Wi-Fi going to get worse because there will be even more students and devices on campus? How will this building affect parking? Will the college continue to build new residence halls and will they ever renovate older ones?

As far as who will be allowed to live in the new buildings, it is up to student life. President Christopher Hopey said that it is not up to him; students can communicate with residence life and student life regarding their thoughts on who should live in these new buildings. The college is looking to change the housing model away from the standard one of freshmen starting their academic careers living in Ash and Deegan and moving on to live in more desired buildings such as the apartments by their Senior year. Merrimack is also looking to join the higher education trend of affinity housing meaning that groups of students with common interests (such as honors or international students) can live together regardless of class year.

 

The Beacon also spoke with Sarah Hicks, the Director of Residence Life regarding these new buildings. She said, “In terms of room selection for next year, we have already started looking at what that process will look like and similar to past years will invite members of SGA and other students to provide input on the process before it is finalized”. Incoming freshmen may have a chance to live in the new buildings. If you want to let residence life know how you feel about who should live in the new buildings, they are open to it.

 

We do not have a housing problem here at Merrimack, Hopey said. The president told us that we currently have about 30 open beds on campus. The college has only planned to accept 180 additional students for next year. They did not plan on the 350, so there will be no cramming students into residence halls.

 

It is a well-known fact that Merrimack’s Wi-Fi has not been as strong this year as it has been in the past. Students have been complaining of inability to connect to the network and get fast, reliable Internet. In our last issue we discussed how IT is working to fix the problems that we have been faced with.

The Wi-Fi on campus is more accessible in the new dorms that were most recently built. The dorms that have been around longer have thicker walls, they’re made of brick and it is harder to get signal through. These dorms were built in the 1950’s and they were made using old technology. Some of them were built during the Cold War and there were no building materials available. That is why they are built the way that they are.

Merrimack uses a program called Meraki to run the wireless on campus. When President Hopey first took office there was no wireless Internet on campus. It was just four years ago that this campus became wireless. The president also informed The Beacon that it is not the number of students that affects the Wi-Fi; it is the number of devices connected. Students are bringing and using an average of 3-4 Wi-Fi devices now, as compared to 1-2 devices two years ago. In September 2012, 4,300 devices were being used on the MCStudent network. As of September 2014, 8,012 devices are being used on MCStudent. The President just spent $50,000 to improve the connection and create more hotspots on campus to double the bandwidth. They have put a deal in place with Verizon about putting a center on campus so that students will have more access points. In regards to the new buildings, the President and the administration hope that these changes will make the network strong enough to handle the increased number of students.

“We do not have a parking problem at Merrimack,” said President Hopey. Students assumed that there was an issue this year when they were charged $400 to park their cars on campus and for the first time, commuters had to pay for their stickers. The Beacon spoke with Jim Chiavelli who is the Associate Vice President of Communications and he told us that the administration realizes that parking is always limited to the spaces available. This year every senior and junior resident student who applied for a space received one, along with a majority of the sophomores who applied and all of the commuter students, faculty and staff. The college will continue to hold a lottery for permits for the number of available spaces, by class year, even as they continue to expand. They do also offer a 24-hour shuttle system to the commuter rail, shopping and entertainment venues.

 

This college spends $250,000 a year to give students the “privilege” of being able to park overnight, Hopey said. He said the school has to pay for things such as towing and plowing, etc. The thing is that someone has to pay for it. These fees are about fairness, he said. People on this campus are continuously moving. Instead of walking around this campus, students prefer to drive. Parking spaces will become much more available if resident students began walking places instead of driving, he said.

 

“The issue is not with the number of spaces available because the college has plenty of space,” said the president. Offices have been moved across the street into the plaza next to Fuddruckers and some students now live in the apartments at Royal Crest. These two things saved 150 spots on campus. The current construction is only occupying 30 spots. President Hopey told us that the college does intend to expand the lot upfront towards Elm Street.

 

In our meeting with the president, he gave us as much information as he could on what will be contained in the new buildings going up on campus. He said that there are three big needs on this campus. Merrimack needs about 8-10 classrooms that can hold 25-50 students. We also need additional dining and student entertainment space as well as student study space. The new residence halls will contain new labs, and a communications studio that will be open to communications students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

As far as renovations go, buildings that have been around since the 1950’s will eventually come down. President Hopey told us that buildings such as the townhouses and the apartments will be updated over time. He said, “The next generation of students that enter the college in four or five years will see a whole new set of dorms. They will see something entirely different than what someone who is graduating this Spring will see”.


Remembering Jordan

jordan coverKaramarie Joyce ’15

Editor-in-Chief

The Merrimack Community mourns the loss of junior Jordan Bedard, who took his life early in the morning on Sunday, Nov. 16.

Jordan, a native of Londonderry, N.H., was very involved with his civil engineering major at the college. He spent many hours in the Mendel Science Center with fellow engineering students, and formed some of his most valuable friendships and lasting memories in the building.

Jordan’s roommate from freshman year junior Brady Langin, spoke at a vigil in Jordan’s honor and shared stories of the time the two spent together during their first year of college. One of Brady’s favorite memories was how every weekend when the two would come home from a night out, Brady would challenge Jordan to solve one of his many Rubik’s Cubes, and he would do so with ease, time and time again.

Jordan’s older sister Brianna said the following about her brother, “Jordan was just such a funny kid with a heart of gold, and he’d be the first one to give the shirt of his back for somebody else. Sometimes I really thought Jordan and I should have been twins. They say twins have their own special connection, and can read each other and feel each other’s pain or happiness, even when they weren’t together. Jordan and I had that. I couldn’t even describe the kind of relationship we had. We were best friends and even better siblings. “

IMG_7987

Genuine smiles: Jordan and his older sister Brianna

Brianna reminisced on days spent with Jordan when she would pick him up from school on Fridays and they would go shopping together. Brianna loves to bake. Most times they would end up at the grocery store where they would gather the ingredients for the latest recipe she wanted to try. She admitted that most of the time the results weren’t ideal, but Jordan always ate her treats with a smile on his face, reassuring her they tasted delicious.

Most students get the summer off and can’t wait to kick back and relax, not Jordan he was a hard worker. Although he didn’t have a summer job, he helped his grandfather out with landscaping jobs or helping build sheds for neighbors in town.

“Everyone was saying how even though he’d never done any landscaping or construction work before in his life, whenever my Papa instructed him to do something, he did it absolutely perfect. As if he’d been doing it his whole life,” she said. “He was so smart that, even if he’d never done it before, he could repeat it so perfectly that you’d never know.”

President Christopher Hopey expressed his condolences on the loss of his student with the following statement “This is a very sad event for Jordan’s family and the entire campus. Losing a young person’s life in the prime, is something that even if you didn’t know Jordan you would mourn about. My hope is that through this tragedy, as a community we work together and care for each other now even more than we did in the past.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states, “Suicide is a mental health problem affecting the lives of young adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites suicide to be the third leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 24. In order to prevent suicide of young adults, families need to talk about it. “

Counselors are available at Hamel Health for anyone who wishes to speak with them. If you are worried about yourself or someone you know, you are advised to call them at (978) 837-5555.


School says it’s mildew, not mold

Bridget McAnulty ’15

Staff Writer 

In the last edition of The Beacon several K tower residents reported concerns about possible mold in their bathrooms. This week the administration said that the bathrooms have been tested and what they found in some ceiling tiles was mildew not mold.

Merrimack’s Vice President of Communications, James Chiavelli released a statement saying that “based on student concerns, facilities managers inspected some residences hall bathrooms and observed spots on some of the bathroom tiles and ceilings. We had the substance lab-tested and determined it was mildew, which is easily addressed with commercial bathroom cleaning solutions or a simple mix of bleach and water.”

Chiavelli said that in the cases that were reported to the college, members of the facilities staff responded to the issue by wiping down the surfaces where mildew was present.

According to the Merrimack College student handbook, students that live in residence halls with private bathrooms and showers are responsible for cleaning their bathrooms and showers as a condition of living in those particular rooms.

“During the upcoming Christmas break, facilities staff will replace tiled showers in some O’Brien suites with one-piece shower stalls, as the start of a comprehensive replacement project.” Chiavelli said.

If students have questions or concerns regarding the maintenance of their rooms they are urged to contact the Office of Residence Life at ext. 5507.

 


Editorial

Brooke Coupal ‘17

Associate Editor-in-Chief

OUR VIEW: Students concerns about new dorms are being addressed

This past week President Christopher Hopey sat down with the editors of The Beacon to discuss plans for the new residence halls. He addressed many of the issues that students were concerned about including Wi-Fi, parking, and the fact that only half the hall is being built.

A main concern among students with adding more beds is that more people will be on the Wi-Fi. With the problems that are already occurring with this, students do not want even slower Wi- Fi as a result of more students coming onto campus. Hopey said the amount of students who are on Wi-Fi does not affect the speed of the Internet. What does slow down the Internet is the number of devices that each student has brought onto campus, which has doubled over the last two years. The president plans on addressing this problem over winter break by improving creating more hotspots on campus, which should overall improve the Wi-Fi.

Students are also uneasy about what parking will be like with more students on campus. Hopey assured The Beacon that there is no parking problem at Merrimack College. After the lottery was completed this year for spots, starting with seniors, then going to juniors, and finally ending at sophomores, there are still parking spots open on campus. Offices have also been moved across the street, so many faculty members now park there instead of on campus. Lastly, the president expressed that the college intends to expand the parking lot on Elm Street. With all of this in effect, parking should not be an issue for the next academic year.

Many students are wondering why only half the new residence halls are being built, and how this will affect housing situations. Austin field is located halfway in North Andover, with the other half in Andover. As of right now only North Andover has approved building of the halls, while Andover has yet to do so. With only half of it being built, there will only be 180 new beds at the start of the school year instead of the 350 beds that would have been put in within the whole hall. Hopey said that this would not be a problem since the college has decided to only accept an additional 180 students for the next academic year, as opposed to the whole 350.

The Beacon would like to commend President Hopey for addressing student concerns with the new residence halls. We hope that all his solutions are successful and are followed through. As a group, The Beacon recommends the college keep students updated with any plans regarding the new residence halls.


Merrimack Hockey Off to Hot Start

Mathew Galvao ’17, Sport Editor

MC Hockey

Photo Credit: Merrimack Athletics

The Merrimack hockey team has been off to a good start to the ‘14-’15 campaign. Owning a 10-4-1 record overall with a 4-3 record in Hockey East, it’s looking like the troubles that plagued this team just a year ago are behind them. They are now ranked #18 in the country according to the new USCHO rankings.

“I think we’re resilient. With the influx of ten freshmen there’s a lot of life in the locker room,” said head coach Mark Dennehy. “We’ve gotten off to a good start and now it’s fun to come to the rink.”

Coming into this season the Warriors had a lot of new faces, 10 to be exact, with some being forced to play right away. The youth movement has paid off for this team. The offense has blossomed since the takeover with the freshmen combining for 49% of the teams offense. They have shown to already be one of the better recruited classes in recent years.

“The recruiting process itself makes it almost impossible to know what you’re getting,” Dennehy stated. “This is as close to batting 1.000 as we’ve been. This class is at the very least what we thought it was.”

One of the bright spots of the freshman core has been Brett Seney. Seney, the 18 year old, has come into being a dynamic playmaker for Merrimack. Scoring five goals a adding six assists for 14  points just 15 games into his rookie season which leads the team. His speed and great hockey sense have lead him to accomplish this feat as a young player in college hockey.

“Brett is a good player. He can play at a high speed,” Dennehy explained. “With Brett it all comes together. His brain, hands and feet are all moving at a high tempo, but they’re moving together.”

Seney has played on a line with two other freshman, Jace Hennig and Mathieu Tibbet. The trio has been a pleasant surprise to the Warriors team. They have combined for 13 goals and 30 points and have been great offensively and defensively with plus/minus of +14.

Special teams has been another key factor for Merrimack especially on the penalty kill. Clicking at 89.1% the Warriors have killed 57 of 64 penalties they have faced to date which ranks 3rd in Hockey East. Ben Bahe, Kyle Singleton, Justin Mansfield and Jonathan Lashyn have all been key contributors to the penalty kill.

“Coach Carr has done a great job with our penalty kill. We’ve got some guys who really know what they’re doing,” said Dennehy. “They’ve done a really good job of playing situations exactly how we want them to play. They’re courageous, and they’re smart.”

Another key to Merrimack’s defense has been goaltender Rasmus Tirronen. Tirronen has been one of the better goalies in Hockey East posting a 7-3-1 record with a .925 save percentage and a 1.78 goals against average. Going back home this summer and working on different parts of his game with his goaltending coach has done wonders for the senior netminder.

“He’s turned into the player we thought he would be,” explained Dennehy. “He wanted to come back and set the tone. H spent the summer training his but off and went to his old goalie coach back home and really tightened up hs game and has gotten off to a great start.”

There have been many challenges that the Merrimack hockey team has faced during this young season. Battling teams like Providence, Notre Dame and newly entered Uconn. The Warriors have measured up nicely to these Hockey East opponents.

“I think we’ve been able to go toe to toe with all of them,” explained Dennehy. “As much as we feel we can beat any team in our league, we also recognize that they can beat us too.”


Warrior Spotlight: Kyle Howes

Tom Conley ’15, Assistant Sports Editor

MC BB

Photo Credit: Merrimack Athletics

Basketball is back for the Warriors and even though they’re off to a 2-4 start, this young season looks promising. Freshman Kyle Howes has been named NE-10 Rookie of the Week.  The Maynard native has been a big contributor for the Warriors. The first four games Howes came off the bench, however Tuesday night he started his first game of his collegiate career. The 6’2 guard is averaging an impressive 22.8 minutes a game along with seven points per game. Last game against St. Anselm the Freshman dropped 14 points, not to mention a dominating 11 rebound performance. The rookie played a career high 35 minutes against St. A’s, shooting six of 12 from the field, mixing in two three-pointers.  Although the Warriors lost the game, Howes is a talented player with potential to strengthen his team on both sides of the ball. Now that we’re familiar with his game, lets get acquainted with the Rookie Of The Week.

Q: How old were you when you began playing basketball?

A: I’ve been playing every since i can remember but first started organized basketball in 3rd grade.

Q: What made you choose Merrimack?

A: Coach Hammel and the guys on the team were my biggest influence for me to choose MC. After playing with them i did not want to play with another team, but I also wanted to stay close to home so my family can watch me play.

Q: As a freshman, did you expect to get as much playing time as you are?

A: To be honest, no i did not. I expected it to take longer to work my way up.

Q: If you could pick four other NBA players to start a game with, who would they be?

A: I would choose Chris Paul, Lebron James, Kevin Garnett, and Kevin Durant.

Q: Can you dunk? If so how old were you when you first did?

A: I can dunk, my first dunk was my freshman year of high school.

Q: How does it feel to be named Rookie Of The Week?

A: Its an honor to be named rookie of the week, it feels good to have my hard work pay off and be recognized by the entire league.

Q: What are your expectations for the rest of the season?

A: I have high expectations for our team this year, once we really click as a team i think we have a chance to win the league.

Q: What are you majoring in?

A: I am a Civil Engineering Major

Q: If you weren’t playing basketball what other sport at Merrimack would you want to play?

A: I would play football. I played quarterback at Lawrence Academy and had offers to play college football.

Q: Who was your favorite player of all time?

A: My favorite player is Lebron.

Q: Jordan or LeBron?

A: In a game, Jordan but in 1 on 1, Lebron.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Merrimack so far?

A: My favorite thing about Merrimack so far is how it’s a small school and everyone knows everybody. I grew up in a small town so coming here and having the same, small town feel is awesome.


Astounding Similarities Between Men’s, Women’s Basketball

Tim MacLean ’16, Staff Writer 

MC MBB

Photo Credit: Merrimack Athletics

Through the first four games of the 2014-15 regular season, the Merrimack Men’s and Women’s basketball teams look eerily similar on paper. The men’s team holds a record of 2-4 and a 0-4 record in NE-10 play, while the women’s squad owns a 4-3 record with an even 2-2 NE-10 record.

The way they’ve been winning and losing their games have been similar as well. In their two wins, the men have a total margin of victory of +19 points, including a three-point upset over #14 Philadelphia University. They’ve also looked pretty good in their two losses, coming up just short in a 91-88 overtime loss to Stonehill and dropping their most recent game at Franklin Pierce, 76-71. Together, that puts the men’s margin of defeat at a mere -8 points, giving them a net rating of +11 on the year.

The women, on the other hand, have been absolutely blowing out their opponents in victories so far this season. A 77-57 win over Post combined with a 75-39 whooping of Goldey-Beacom gives the Lady Warriors a massive margin of victory of +56. And, like the men, the women haven’t exactly been destroyed in the games they’ve lost. A five-point loss to Stonehill in addition to a two-point loss at Franklin Pierce has the women’s margin of defeat at even smaller -7 points, giving them an enormous +51 net rating.

Had the ball bounced a different way in certain circumstances, both teams could have very easily been standing at 4-0 to begin the new campaign. But the season is young and there will be plenty of opportunities for both Merrimack basketball teams to get the proverbial ball rolling.


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