In a rare appearance at the Student Government Association’s (SGA) weekly meeting on Wednesday, March 5, President Lahey reflected on the closing year and presented a look at the future.
Lahey answered student representatives’ questions on a variety of issues, including the construction of the new campuses in North Haven and York Hill and the cancellation of May Weekend, an annual Quinnipiac University tradition. Looking back at the school year, Lahey noted the racial incident that grabbed headlines at the beginning of the first semester.
“I think although it started on a difficult note, the community responded well,” he said.
One topic of discussion was the university’s controversial decision to cancel May Weekend. Lahey said the measure was taken out of concern about underage drinking and to ensure the safety of the students.
“I’m not a prohibitionist, but I do think that it is important that we put that in the context of what we have experienced,” he said. “We tried, I think over the past 20 years, just about everything. Unfortunately we’ve had serious injuries. I think just as a community we needed to do something.”
Lahey also discussed plans for the construction of the new campuses, which will open in September of 2009. On York Hill, students will have apartments which are fully equipped with kitchens. Students who bring cars to the new campus will be accommodated with 2,300 parking spaces, he said.
“It really will relieve this campus of some of the pressure points,” Lahey said.
For the York Hill campus, environment friendly measures such as solar and wind power are under consideration.
“We’re looking to make the entire York Hill campus a green campus,” he said.
According to Lahey, construction at the Mt. Carmel campus on Bobcat Way will begin this summer. Quinnipiac will also be expanding its dining hall at Mt. Carmel, Lahey said. Additions to that facility will be completed by 2010.
Student representatives expressed concerns over how the size of the student population will be impacted by the added space. Lahey believes that the growth will be “modest.”
“I don’t see us growing by more than a thousand undergraduates,” he said.