That’s a wrap from the Mack Meeting. The crowd wasn’t quite as large or talkative as past meetings, so Hopey didn’t really have to break a sweat.
One quick note: students asked for grills to be placed in the New Hall quads, similar to those outside O’Brien and the Townhouses. It appears those will be added at some point and potentially even have some charcoal supplied for students.
Hopey ended with a parental “be safe, be smart, and have a good time” in regards to Spring Weekend, and wished graduating good luck and his congratulations.
More on the new buildings: They’ll be more sustainable. Andover and North Andover have pretty strict guidelines on sustainability, so that’s certainly a goal.
On Charlie Day: He’s an alum, and Hopey and his staff went down to visit him. Charlie was excited to come back to Merrimack, see some changes and speak at commencement. He’ll be available and around to meet people as well.
Hopey just announced another Residential Village is going to be build on campus, and groundbreaking will likely take place in August or September. Hopey won’t reveal the location of the houses, but says people will “like where they’re going to go.” The reasoning is that plans have not yet been finalized with the town.
He also hopes to build another academic facility and more student commons and, once again, reiterated his desire for a bowling alley.
Why don’t we have any 24-hour food services?
Answer: Hopey didn’t know that was the case. Neither did his Chief of Staff. But he says he will talk to Sodexo and work on changing that. Students then asked that the Warrior’s Den be the 24-hour option if one of the current dining options’ hours were to be changed.
Q: “If you take 3 classes, you pay for four. If you take 5 classes, you pay for 5.” Essentially, if you take 3 classes (12 credits) you pay for a full course load. The current overload fee sets in when you go above 19 credits. However, all classes are 4 credits, so this is a problem for any student trying to take a fifth class (20 credits).
Hopey – The school has been looking at this, and they hope to have a resolution soon. He thinks that the max you will pay for is 4 credits so students can overload at least one class without paying a fee, as was the original plan.
On Parking: “We don’t charge a lot of money for parking right now, so that is going to change.” Hopey says the school is trying to be environmentally conscious but hopes more spots could be created in coming spots. He added that they are continuing to look at priority parking (for upperclassmen or students with internships and jobs, for example), but “parking will always be difficult for us because of the land and the town community around us.”
He reiterated the immense cost of a parking garage and that he didn’t want to “charge $1,000 per spot, which we would need to do in order to pay for a garage.”
First question: I came here because of the small school feeling. Where did it go?
Answer: Hopey says being “too small in the modern world isn’t good.” He cited needing more money for things like the $48 million in financial aid given out this year. The second reason is to meet a goal of 3,000 students, which Hopey aims to use for national recognition and making student degrees worth more. Finally, he cited adding new majors that are more up-to-date and current with this generation. With less students, he feels this is harder.
“We’re not going to be 10,000 students. We won’t be a Boston College or Villanova, but we want to be a Providence or Quinnipiac, and they’re between 3,000 and 4,000 students.”
Once again, it’s all eyes on President Hopey.
Hopey takes the stage in Cascia Hall at 5 p.m. for this semester’s Mack Meeting. For those who are new to the event, the Mack Meeting usually takes place twice a year and is an open forum for students to ask questions of President Hopey about anything relating to the college. In the past, other notable members of campus staff and administration, including members of the IT team, Academic Deans and department heads, representatives from Sodexo, Student Government, and Police Services, among others, have been in attendance to better answer questions that Hopey himself may not have the most involvement in.
You’ll want to swipe in when you get here, because the first 100 students are entered for a door prize of more Mack Bucks. Let’s be honest: you want more Den food. If that’s not reason enough to come out, we don’t really know what is.
If you’d like to get reacquainted with some of the issues brought up last time, read up on our live blog from November
Some highlights: Last Mack Meeting, Hopey announced potential plans to put a dining hall in the first floor of O’Brien Hall and unveiled plans for a Deegan West Fireplace Lounge remodel. The remodel was supposed to take place over winter break, so how’s the process coming along? Past Mack Meetings have had other big announcements, such as the new Athletic Complex and Dunkin Donuts coming to campus.
Could there be a new residence hall plan in the works? How about that bowling alley Hope has wanted for so long? Those are just some of the topics that could come up tonight.
Side note: If you can’t make it but still want to have your question asked, tweet it to us @MCBeacon. You can follow us here for updates mainly, but we’ll update Twitter when we can.
Finally, there’s FREE pizza. And it’s here. Need we say more?
See you at 5.