Lahey responds to student issues in interview with Q30

Lisa Odierno

Quinnipiac President John Lahey promised that the university is “headed to bigger and better things,” in a rare interview conducted by Max Winitz, director-in-charge and anchor of the Q30 student television station Nov. 6.

Lahey, who has held the university’s top administrative post for 20 years, said that Quinnipiac is ranked in the top 15 percent of colleges and universities in the nation. The law school is also moving to the top 100 in the country.

Lahey eloquently answered questions and addressed pressing campus issues and concerns in the interview. Winitz sought the interview in order to allow Lahey a forum to express his thoughts to students.

“The reason why I decided to do this interview is because in my four years here, I had never seen President Lahey address the student body about the issues that are on the minds of the students. This was a tremendous opportunity for the Quinnipiac students to get their questions answered from the man at Quinnipiac’s helm. It was a great opportunity for the President as well,” Winitz said. “Not everyone stands by his decision making, but by speaking out during this interview, he could have changed the minds of those people. Not just myself, but the entire organization who worked on this interview, really felt that President Lahey did a fine job addressing the current concerns.”

Lahey admitted that the WQAQ radio tower was removed for cosmetic reasons. When the structure, which also dubs as a cell tower, was first constructed, the university was “led to believe it would be an aesthetically not unattractive tower,” Lahey said.

The administration is now in the process of working with engineers to come up with an alternative site. Lahey is “fully committed to restoring the tower for QAQ.” He hopes that He hopes that the restoration will be complete in time to retain the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) regulations.

Lahey also addressed the issue of Quinnipiac security officers venturing off-campus. The new 24-hour Residents Concerns Hotline is “in the best interest of students” who he has “enormous respect” for, Lahey said. He stressed that a good relationship between the town and the university is important. At the same time, he acknowledged that campus security visiting privately owned residences is a “slight invasion of privacy.” However, it is an “opportunity to tell students that someone has made a complaint,” Lahey said.

Lahey notes that the university has had a “relatively safe year” thus far in regards to alcohol-related incidences. Acknowledging that the university has suffered from several tragedies in the past decade, he has been in favor of instituting services, such as the New Haven shuttles, to ensure the safety of the student body. He does recognize, however, that students “will be using alcohol no matter what their age [is],” Lahey said.

A Web site called “Shame on Quinnipiac” claims that Lahey has “effectively [declared] war on the university’s professors.” When questioned about his decision to dissolve the faculty union, Lahey responded that “none of the best schools have a union.” In competition with other colleges and universities, the Quinnipiac faculty will see a six percent increase in salary in the next five years.”You would be hard-pressed to find any other war where the victims are treated like this,” Lahey said. “I have the highest respect for all individual faculty members.”

Lahey also spoke about such issues as housing, student apathy and the impending opening of the TD Banknorth Sports Center. “The excitement it will generate in terms of school spirit will be terrific,” Lahey said.

The 30 minute interview will air tonight at 8:30 on Q30.