President Susan Cole’s Welcome Address

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Welcome to the 2012-13 academic year at Montclair State University.  Whether you are a residential or a commuting student, I encourage you to spend as much time on campus as possible and to pursue your studies with diligence.  To ensure a successful year, I offer the following advice:

 1) Take responsibility for your University life! Although your parents and other family members want to assist you, an important part of the University experience is developing your ability to tackle challenges and problems on your own.  Begin to build your own network of advisors and resources to enable you to realize your ambitions, and work at getting the information you need and speaking up for yourself — respectfully, of course.

 2) Ask questions! If you have questions, ask.  Ask your professors, your advisors, your Student Government Association (SGA) leaders.  Ask the professional staff members who are prepared to guide you through all the requirements that organize our lives here on campus.  So when in doubt and when you are confused, just ask.

 3) See your academic advisor often! Advisors for new students and for undeclared students are located in Morehead Hall.  Advisors for students who have already declared a major are located in their department, college, or school.  If you do not know who your advisor is, log on to WESS at wfs.montclair.edu and click on “Faculty and Advisor Self Service.” First-year, veteran, and undeclared transfer student advisors can be found in the Center for Advising and Student Transitions in Morehead Hall. Transfer students with declared majors should seek out their academic advisors within their respective colleges. Make yourself known to the people who are here to help you. I assure you that they want to know you, and they genuinely want to be of assistance to you.

 4) Get involved in at least one campus activity!  Students who are active in campus life are more likely to succeed academically, be satisfied socially, and graduate sooner than students who are uninvolved in our community. Are you interested in sports, theater, music, foreign languages, service to others or culture?  MSU has it all. Find the groups to which you can contribute your talents and from which you can learn something new. Don’t be shy about it.Commuter students, don’t just come to class and head right home. Activities on campus are just as much for you as they are for resident students. Take advantage of breaks in your schedule to join a club, attend an activity in the Student Center, or work on campus.

 5) Plan your working hours carefully! We realize that some students must work to cover their expenses and many others choose to work.  To the extent that you are able, I urge you to limit the hours you work to preserve time to focus on both your studies and other campus activities.  If you are to benefit fully from your opportunities at the University, your studies must be your first priority.  One excellent solution for many students is to work right here at Montclair State, where there are many different types of jobs available for students.  For example, you could become a shuttle bus driver or work in the Red Hawk Diner.  Both are well-paid positions that will help you meet people on campus and get you connected to this community.  Check the job postings online or drop into the Center for Career Services & Cooperative Education in Room 337 of Morehead Hall.

 6) Explore public transportation!  The number of cars on campus continues to grow along with the University.  Try to get out of your cars to explore the convenience — and contribute to the environmental benefits — of public transportation.  The University has two train stations, and both NJ Transit and DeCamp buses stop on campus.  To facilitate the use of mass transit, NJ Transit offers students a 25% discount on monthly passes.  To receive this discount, students can log on at www.montclair.edu/njtransit.

 7) Be respectful!  You now belong to a University community whose members enjoy an extraordinary degree of freedom.  For the University to function as it should, its members are expected and obligated to behave in a respectful manner toward other members of the community: fellow students, professors, University police officers, and staff.  As a member of this community, you are also obligated to treat the University’s facilities, equipment, and grounds with care so that everyone can benefit from them.  In return, you have the right to expect that you yourself will be treated with respect and that your enjoyment of the University’s facilities will not be ruined by the carelessness or disregard of others.

For any questions or to speak with President Susan Cole, she can be reached at coles.montclair.edu or found in her office in College Hall.


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