The La Salle Lacrosse (0-12) faced off against the Duquesne Dukes (1-11) at home for their Morgan’s Message game. The Explorers were coming off of a 12-game losing streak and hoped to bring this streak to a halt against the Dukes.
The Explorers were off to a hot start after Junior transfer Alana Lathan was able to get the ball past the goalkeeper to give the Explorers an early 1-0 lead. The Dukes, however, were able to strike right back against a transitioning defense, bringing the game to 1-1. Lathan, however, refused to let the Dukes gain any momentum, once again finding the back of the net with yet another free-position goal. The Dukes then won the next face-off, allowing them to go on a 4-0 run that extended into the second quarter. This run was only halted after Junior attacker Lola Quigly received a pass from Junior midfielder Mackenzie Click, which Quigly was able to easily convert into a goal, bringing the game to 5-3. Duquesne then went on another 4-0 run, bringing the game to 9-3 with only six minutes left in the half. The Explorers refused to go down without a fight, bringing the game to 9-8 heading into the half.
It seemed like the halftime break was exactly what the Dukes needed, scoring three unanswered goals to open the third quarter of play. This run was only stopped when Junior midfielder Maddie Henderson was able to score an unassisted goal to bring the game to 12-9. The Explorers continued to build on this momentum, and after a goal from Ellen Stickney coming off a pass from Katie Johnson, the Explorers were able to bring the game within two goals. Duquesne, feeling the pressure coming from the Explorers, ramped up their offense, answering right back with two goals of their own. Junior midfielder Claudia Steinmetz was then able to score her own goal, bringing the game to 14-11.
The Explorers, however, failed time after time to win a significant amount of post-goal face off, leading to Duquesne having a majority of the possession in the second half. After three unanswered goals by the Dukes, Stickney was again able to find the back of the net after a pass from Click. This was not enough to stop the Dukes, and after one final 4-0 run from the Dukes, the Explorers fell 21-12. The Explorers tallied a total of 32 shots, with 22 of them being on the net.
The Explorers will travel to St. Bonaventure next and then will face off against Davidson at home for their last regular season game.
It has come to my humble attention that certain people are unhappy with what I have written in the past about a certain team on campus who went 15-19 (7-11 in conference) in the season and failed to make it out of the A-10 tournament. While I must admit that some of the comments I’ve made have been harsh, I have never made a statement that has not been true. My job as the editor for the sports section of TheCollegian demands that I write about what I see and share it with the world. If the teams had not lost as many games and demonstrated their sub-par talent, I would’ve not written any of the articles I did. In other words: If you do not like my work, simply be better at the sport you have been playing for your entire life.
That being said, I believe it is important for the student body to hold our “representatives” (whether you like it or not, sports teams serve as representatives of our school) accountable for their shortcomings and failures. Just as I would expect one of y’all to hold me accountable for my articles, I hold others accountable for their mistakes. Without further ado, here is a recap of the Men’s basketball team’s horrific 15-19 season.
The basketball team was off to a putrid start against the Villanova Wildcats on the road. The (then ranked) no. 16 Wildcats were heavy favorites to win, coming from a spectacular 30-8 season where they made it to the Final Four of the March Madness tournament, where the eventual national champions, the University of Kansas, defeated them. On the other hand, the Explorers were coming off of a lousy 11-19 season under head coach Ashley Howard, whom Fran Dunphy replaced in the offseason. The Explorers were off to a terrible start, down 37-23 at halftime. At no point in the contest did the Explorers hold the lead, and Villanova was able to cruise into an easy 81-68 win over the Explorers.
However, this first losing streak was short-lived for the Explorers after they managed to beat out the Wagner Seahawks at home with a 77-69 win. This was the home opener for the Explorers and a crucial win for the squad.
The Explorers opened week two at home at the Tom Gola arena, where they faced off against (Division II) Queen’s University N.C for the play-in game of the Jersey Mikes Jamaica Classic. Unsurprisingly, the Explorers were able to beat this Division II basketball team and punched in their ticket to travel to Jamaica to continue playing.
The Explorers then traveled, via a private charter jet, to Jamaica (whilst the women’s basketball team traveled commercial to Alaska for a similar tournament). While in Jamaica, the Explorers faced off against Wake Forest University, whom they “surprisingly” lost 63-75 to. This loss placed the Explorers within the loser’s bracket. Whilst in the Loser’s bracket, the Explorers faced off against Georgetown University and “surprisingly” lost 62-69. This means the Explorers traveled (again, via private jet) to Jamaica and were unable to win a single game.
Weeks 3 and seven were, in my opinion, uneventful and, honestly, really boring to watch. The Explorers went 4-5 during these weeks, winning against Binghamton University, Penn (surprisingly), Bucknell, and Howard. The Explorers lost to Temple, Drexel, Cincinnati, Lafayette, and VCU.
The Explorers welcomed the New Year with a 77-75 OT win over Rhode Island at home. This win came from the backs of Sophomore Guard Khalil Brantley and Junior Guard Jhamir Brickus, who combined for a total of 42 points (29 and 13, respectively). This win put them at 1-1 in A-10 games. After this, the Explorers traveled to Massachusetts, where they barely managed to beat UMASS 78-77.
This win streak was short-lived, however, after the Explorers managed to lose five separate games in a row, losing to Fordham, Saint Josephs, Saint Louis, Davidson, and Rhode Island, whom they lost to after a missed dunk from Josh Nickleberry allowed the Explorers to lose by 2 points. I suggest reading more by reading my previous article Sports Commentary: Late Missed Dunk Costs Explorers the Win Over Rhode Island.
Weeks?? (I honestly ran out of inspiration to continue writing the article at this point and no longer wish to count weeks) aka the rest of the season
The Explorer’s losing streak came to an end after defeating George Washington at home. The Explorers used this momentum to go on a five-game winning streak. Defeating St Josephs, St. Bonaventure, Massachusetts (again), and Richmond.
However, this winning streak came to an end after losing to George Mason 66-70. The Explorers then went off to lose every game left in their season, losing to Duquesne, George Washington, Dayton, and the 10-20 (4-14 in conference) Loyola Chicago during their own senior night. The Explorers were unable to defeat a 4-14 team at home for Senior Night. Let that sink in.
A-10 tournament run
In the first round of the A-10 tournament, the Explorers faced off against Rhode Island University for what would be the third time these two teams met this season. The Explorers were able to outperform their previous A-10 tournament runs, finally making it out of the first round of the tournament. In the second round, the Explorers faced off against Duquesne, whom they managed to defeat 81-70. Their Cinderella run was cut short by the #3 team in the A-10’s, Fordham University, who easily defeated the Explorers 61-69. The Explorers reached the quarter-finals of the A-10 tournament for the first time since the 2015 season.
So that their entire season is perfectly recapped for your enjoyment and satisfaction. Although outperforming their previous performances, the team failed to live up to expectations. The team played sub-par against teams with low-level talent and was wiped out by nationally ranked teams. The team failed to create any kind of momentum and even failed to have a winning season. Why should we celebrate the fact that the team reached the quarter-finals? Is their one and only job not to win games? Do they not practice week in and week out in order to win and still fail to do so? The basketball team is able to convince everyone that they are accomplishing something but fail to make any kind of postseason run. Players are putting up numbers but are failing to win games. The fact that this is La Salle’s best season since 2015 despite the team failing to be above .500 speaks volumes about the ineptness and incompetence of the athletic department and the players on the basketball team.
Editor’s note: If you wish to communicate with me about anything written in my articles, feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org as I will not respond to any other form of communication.
Mark Squilla, a City Councilman for Philadelphia’s 1st District and La Salle University alum, returned to his alma mater to speak to students in Dr. Foley’s State and Local Government class on Wednesday, Mar. 8. This visit included a lecture in which Councilman Squilla described his work as a member of city council, how he became involved in city politics, and the current issues facing his district and the city of Philadelphia. Following his lecture, students could ask the city councilman various questions. The 1st District, Squilla’s jurisdiction, spans from South Philadelphia all the way to Kensington and Port Richmond—typically called the “River Wards.” After studying computer science at La Salle University, Councilman Squilla would spend twenty-five years working in the Office of Pennsylvania’s Auditor General before his eventual political career. This councilman first became involved civically in Philadelphia with the restoration of a local playground in South Philly. He later would become a member of the Democratic City Committee in the late 90s. His political career in Philadelphia was elevated with an election to city council representing the 1st District in 2011—a position he has held for over eleven years. His many accomplishments include the Reading Viaduct restoration, the development of the East Passyunk Business Improvement District, and acting as the Chair of the City Council Streets Committee.
His visit to La Salle was a homecoming where this politician shared his experience and knowledge with the university’s political science students. Squilla spoke in depth about the work of his position, issues facing his particular district, and his own approach to being a public official. Within his district is Kensington—a Philly neighborhood rife with problems of drugs and crime in recent decades. This councilman understood and acknowledged the quagmire of Kensington and the myriad of issues facing people who live there. About the visit Dr. Foley said, “Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla provided the students in my State and Local Government class with very informative and valuable insights into his professional and political career and the critical issues confronting the City of Philadelphia.”
My own interaction with Squilla illustrated his sincerity and genuine care for his constituents. I had guided the councilman from 20th Street into Hayman Hall and was able to speak to him for a few minutes before the class. Whereas many politicians attempt to emphasize the prestige of being elected, Councilman Squilla recognizes the true nature of democracy and representative politics. Politicians are employed by citizens and must always answer to their constituents instead of seeing themselves as “above” the common citizen. Squilla understands this principle and attempts to politically live by it—vowing transparency and open direct communication with those in his district. He even spends hours late each night personally responding to e-mails sent to his office. Other local politicians would never be found doing the same. Helping constituents and bettering life for his district is of utmost importance for Squilla.
The La Salle Explorers Water Polo team started the season on the road for the second season. Last year, the Explorers faced a four-game split, three of which were at Bucknell, having to face off against Bucknell, Mercyhurst, and Saint Francis, Pa. Eventually, they faced off against nationally ranked Princeton at home. This year, the Explorers traveled up to Brown University to play in the 2023 Bruno Classic, where they faced off against host team Brown, Gannon University, Saint Francis PA, and Harvard University.
The Explorers (NV) opened their season on the road facing off against the 25th-ranked Brown University Bears. The game was off to a hot start, with the Brown Bears winning the game-starting swim-off and quickly converting to take an early 1-0 lead over the Explorers. Sophomore attacker Francesca Co, however, refused to let the Bears take the momentum and found the back of the net for her 50th Career goal as an Explorer, an outstanding feat considering she is only in her second year at La Salle. After this, the Bears went on a 2-0 run to finish the quarter 3-1.
The Explorers came into the second quarter full of energy, with Graduate Student Center Forward Madelyn Koerper finding the back of the net after a defensive effort from the Explorers. The Explorers, however, were not able to stop the offensive might of the Bears and gave up a 5-meter penalty shot, which the Bears converted, putting the Bears in a 4-2 lead. This penalty gave the Bears the first of their goals during a 3-0 run, which was only stopped by Francesca Co right before the half, cutting the Explorer’s deficit to 6-3 heading into the half.
The third quarter of the contest was defensively dominated, with the Explorers allowing only one goal in the quarter, while failing to convert any power plays and scoring the only goal in the quarter. The Explorer’s only goal in the quarter came from Koerper once again toward the end of the quarter.
The Bears maintained control and momentum throughout the 4th quarter, scoring back-to-back goals, which put the Bears up 9-4. The rest of the game was predominantly defense centered, with the Explorers only allowing one more goal in the quarter. The Explorers fell 10-4 against Brown.
The Explorers then faced off against the Gannon Golden Knights. The Explorers managed to go on a 6-0 run, only stopped by a goal from the Golden Knights toward the end of the first quarter. The second quarter only saw two total goals, both of which came from the arm of Sophomore Francesca Co, who was able to convert a five-meter penalty shot as well as finding the top corner of the cage only two minutes later. The Explorers went into the half with an 8-1 lead.
The second half of the game was a predominantly defense-controlled game. The scoring drought ended after a goal from Junior attacker Hannah Warren, followed by Senior team Captain Shanna Zuanich who was able to find the top right corner of the goal, putting the explorers up 10-1. The Explorers won the matchup 13-3.
The Explorers then traveled to Harvard University, where they faced off against ST. Francis PA, whom they defeated 9-6. The Explorers (NV) then faced off against (T-19) Harvard University, whom they lost 18-7 to.
Although the team went .500 in their first weekend, there were mostly positive notes from the team. In a post-game interview, Francesca Co stated, “I think the most important thing is that even though we brought home two wins, which is a good start, we have to learn how to keep a clear mind during the game. Especially in the most difficult games, as was the case against Brown and Harvard, when fatigue starts to take over, we have to stay rational and play smart.” The girls were failing to win swim-offs against faster teams, and often the lack of subs by the coach made the game more difficult for the Explorers. The first weekend of games was the first test of the new head coach James Wolff. La Salle is Wolff’s first experience being the head coach of a Division I athletic program, and the lack of knowledge was apparent against nationally ranked teams.
The team, however, is full of motivation and energy and seems poised to make a postseason run in the MAAC championships. It’ll be interesting to see how Sophomores Francesca Co as well Tatum Lomax, the youngest starters on the team, further develop in Divisional I athletics and how the coaching style might change depending on the opponent. Regardless, if this weekend of games is any indication of what is to come, the Water Polo team will find themselves battling for top positions within their conference.
On Nov. 15, 2022, the La Salle Explorers were able to edge out Division II Queen’s University North Carolina to punch their ticket to the Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic tournament. The La Salle Men’s basketball team then traveled to Jamaica on November 16, 2022, for a week full of practices and, if they were lucky, numerous different games. The Explorers failed once again to live up to their potential, being relegated to the consolation bracket after losing in the first round to Wake Forest. The Explorers then played Georgetown University for the loser’s bracket championship, where they managed to show why they were in the loser’s bracket, losing 69-62.
The first overseas game the Explorers (2-1) played was against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-0). The Explorers came into the game full of energy, as was evident with their 10-2 lead six minutes into the half, a lead that they achieved thanks to three-pointers coming from Senior Guard Josh Nickleberry and Senior transfer forward Hassan Drame. However, this lead was short lived, as the Demon Deacons were able to go on a 13-5 run against the Explorers, tying the game at 15 a piece. The Deacons and Explorers continued to trade point after point with one another, with the Deacons going on a 17-11 run to give them the lead. Despite this apparent setback, the Explorers were able to go on a 7-0 run against the Demons with only 1:30 left to play in the half. The Explorers were helped out by three pointers coming from Nickleberry and Sophomore Guard Khalil Brantley. The Deacons refused to go down without a fight however, and after a layup and a freethrow, were able to take the lead back from the Explorers at 35-33 heading into half time. The Explorers came out of half time with half the energy as the first, which showed in their game play. The Explorers managed to take the lead back 3 separate times during the second half, but were ultimately outscored 40-30 to finish the game at a 75-63 defeat. The Explorers shot an absolutely horrific 21-53 (39.6%) from field goals but somehow managed to make an impressive 11-26 (42.3%) of their three-pointers. It seems like the wonderful warm weather of Jamaica affected the men’s ability to play, as they played perfectly fine in the cold weather of Philadelphia.
The Men’s team was then relegated to the loser’s tournament bracket after their loss to Wake Forest, where they would face off against the Georgetown Hoyas for the consolation game of the Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic tournament. The first half of play has to be single handedly the worst basketball I have seen from the Explorers in my short three years of being an Explorer. The Explorers were outscored 21-41 in the half, and the Hoyas carried all of the momentum. The Hoyas were running circles around the Men’s team, and looked like the vastly superior team all throughout the half. The Explorers however, refused to go down without a fight. The Explorers came out of half time full of the energy and motivation that they lacked in the first half, and were determined to bring themselves back into the game. The Explorers were able to go on an 11-4 run within the first 3:14 of the half. Junior Guard Jhamir Brickus was responsible for 9 out of 11 of those points, and was a pivotal part of the Explorer’s offense in the second half. The Hoyas tried to maintain control of the game, but the Explorers momentum was simply too much for them to handle. The Explorers went on a 28-8 run to tie the game at 62 all, with only 2:14 left in the game. The Hoyas however, were able to stop the Explorers charge, putting themselves up 64-62. After an Explorer defensive foul, the Deacons were able to sink both free throws, putting them up 66-62. The Explorers tried to bring themselves back into the game, but the point deficit they allowed in the first half was too much to handle, ultimately causing the Explorers to lose 69-62.
These two losses for the Explorers have to be detrimental to the team’s morale, especially after the small momentum they had gained after their back to back wins. The Explorers now sit at 2-3 in the season, with no conference games being played yet. The Explorers will face off against Binghamton at home, where the athletic department will do a trading card giveaway, an issue I will talk about in future articles. For now, the entire school is disappointed by the men’s basketball team and how much money the school is giving them, rather than literally anything else at this school.
On Sun. Oct 9, the Lasalle Explorers women’s soccer team faced off against the Fordham Rams. The Explorers came into the game 6-6-1 in the season (1-4 in conference play), while the Rams came in with a record of 4-7-1 (3-1-1 in conference play). The Explorers’ early success in the season came to a halt midway through the season, grinding their momentum to a screeching halt. This is the first win over The Explorers fell into a mid-season slump, drawing and losing essential games. After a loss to Duquesne, the Explorers were put into a “do or die ” situation if they wanted any sort of shot at a postseason run. Luckily for the Explorers, that is just what they got with this win.
The game was off to a quick start, with both sides trading shots and attempts at goals. Despite this, no team was able to find the back of the net. It was not until the 34th minute that Junior midfielder Kelli McGroarty was able to get the ball past the goalkeeper from 25 yards out, putting the Explorers up 1-0. This goal sparked momentum within McGroarty, as 5 minutes after, she was able to take the ball from the Fordham defender and was able to find the back of the net in the 38th minute, putting the Explorers up 2-0. Not even 3 minutes later, McGroarty was able to complete her hat trick after a pass into the box came from Sophomore midfielder Sunni DiElmo which McGroarty was able to strike into the net, putting the Explorers up 3-0. McGroarty’s hat trick happened in a span of six minutes and 54 seconds. The Explorers outshot the Rams 11-4 in the first half. The Explorers went into halftime leading 3-0.
The second half of the game was much slower than the first, with only a few shots being exchanged between both teams. In the 53rd minute, Sophomore midfielder Gabby Picco drew a yellow card after a personal foul on the rams, and in the 72nd minute, a Fordham player drew the first yellow card for her team after a personal foul. The game continued like this until the 80th minute, after a Ram midfielder drew the first goal of the game for the Rams, putting them at a 3-1 disadvantage. The Explorer’s defense would continue to stop the Rams, only allowing them to get off 6 shots in the half, while the Explorers shot seven times. The Explorers outshot the Rams 18-10 in the game.
In a post-game interview, the player of the match, Kelli McGroarty, stated, “This win is definitely momentum. We dropped the ball halfway through the season. There were a couple of games early on that we probably should have won, but this game put us back on track. Unfortunately, we have to win out from now on, so this is definitely a helpful game to move us forward in the conference.” Regarding the fact that the team must win from here on out, McGroarty stated, “Our situation is what we call ‘do or die.’ It’s not the situation we want to be in because we’d rather have some wiggle room. We’re in an alright situation right now, we don’t have to rely on other teams [winning or losing], which is good. Also, if you look at the standings and the schedule we have left, we should win, and that should help boost us up in the ranking. This means we potentially have an excellent chance of making the playoffs.”
When asked about the playoffs and their chances of making a long playoff run, McGroarty stated, “We’ve been manifesting A-10s since last year; as soon as the season ended, we were saying it. I think that the chances of us winning are still high. I think our hardest game would be St. Louis, if we make it to the finals, it would probably be us against them, and the game would probably be away, which is good because we do better on the road. Essentially, we have very good hopes.” McGroarty’s hat trick during this game was her first-ever hat trick, and the excitement within McGroarty was palpable. When asked how this is going to influence her, McGroarty stated, “It was a pretty cool feeling. The first goal had fallen down, and when I saw it go in, I just put my head down, and I remember saying, ‘thank God. I have been in a sort of drought since the beginning of the season. I had a few early on, but then I kind of stopped, so it was a nice little pick-me-up. But also, it just proved that when we take shots, they go in, which is something we have been working on as a team [attacking overall]. So, we also did really well with that, we had 11 shots in the first half, and they only had four. That’s a big statement as to why we had so many goals this game.” When asked about the rest of the season, she stated, “the rest of the season looks good. The cards are on our table. We need to win. But you know, things can go south all the time, we had a game where we were up 1-0, and we lost 4-1 (referring to their loss against St. Louis), Everything can change in an instant, so we just have to keep rolling and keep putting balls in the back of the net and let them do it as much. We do that, and we’ll keep winning games.” McGroarty credits the team’s toughness, hard work, and determination to their success thus far and will work towards improving their standings.
The Explorers will travel to Richmond for their next in-conference game of the season.
On Feb. 22, news was released that the day before the city of Philadelphia broke up two homeless encampments in Kensington this past summer. Villanova University professor Stephanie Sena, Villanova law student Delaney Keefe, and ACT-UP Philadelphia activist Jazmyn Henderson put Apple AirTags on belongings of eight of the encampments’ occupants. AirTags are tracking devices designed to act as a key finder to help people find personal objects. Soon after the encampments were broken up, the AirTags showed that four items were in a solid-waste facility in Conshohocken a few miles outside of Philadelphia. Advocates believe that this removal of belongings is a violation of constitutional rights for those experiencing homelessness.
Keefe posted videos she shot on Aug. 18 that shows city workers pulling a couch out of a tent, and then destroying the tent. Greg Ramseyer, the owner of the tent, explained the tent was his property and he explained to police and city workers that the couch was not abandoned. In addition to Ramseyer’s couch, a black trunk, a plastic container of clothes and a backpack with a wallet and identification cards, which are considered extraordinarily difficult for people who are homeless to replace, were tracked in the waste facility in Conshohocken.
The Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services’ website explains, “We will store personal belongings for free for at least 30 days” after a clear-out. A spokesperson for the city claims that any possessions collected at the encampment were stored at Prevention Point, a public health and social services nonprofit in Kensington. So, if something is thrown out, it is because the object was considered to be dangerous, abandoned or debris. “The city takes multiple steps to avoid disposing of anyone’s possessions, and offers storage,” the city’s spokesperson said. “For safety reasons, city staff do not go through individual bags.” The spokesperson added, “Individuals are encouraged to take their possessions with them and the city makes reasonable efforts to ensure that items that are clearly identifiable as personal property/personal belongings are not discarded.” However, the city has not addressed the data the AirTags picked up in Conshohocken.
According to endhomelessness.org, in 2020 13,375 people were homeless in PA averaging about 10.4 homeless people per 10,000. However, the homeless population’s possessions being discarded is a widespread issue throughout urban areas throughout the US, not just Philadelphia. Similar situations have happened on the west coast in Phoenix and Los Angeles. In addition, this is a longstanding issue because, in 2012, a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, 2-1, that the personal possessions the homeless leave for a short time on city sidewalks may be taken only if the possessions pose an immediate threat to public safety or health or constitute criminal evidence. Nonetheless, these rules are up to interpretation–like in Philadelphia which may lead to possessions being discarded.
Two weeks ago, we published the first in what will (hopefully) be a series of anonymous surveys for the La Salle Collegian community to share their opinions on a variety of topics. For the inaugural survey, what better topic than something we haven’t stopped hearing about and thinking about for the past couple of years — online classes, COVID-19 and La Salle’s reaction to it all?
The survey was available on the homepage of the Collegian website and was taken by about 70 people. Around 40 were current students who had taken at least one semester of completely online classes and at least one semester of completely (or mostly completely) online classes. The rest were professors, staff, alumni, friends and family of students or students who had only taken online or only in-person classes. This number of responses is just a small collection of Collegian readers and students and is not necessarily representative of the entire University. However, there are still some interesting insights and patterns shown through the responses.
The majority of the topics in the survey, which were only shown to students who had taken at least a semester of online classes as well as a semester of in-person classes, compared online and in-person learning in a variety of ways. Statements were presented with a Likert scale with the responses “strongly agree,” “somewhat agree,” “neither agree nor disagree,” “somewhat disagree,” “strongly disagree” and “I don’t know/this doesn’t apply to me.” At the end of the survey, all respondents could also share whatever other information on these topics that they wanted the Collegian to know.
To try to reduce possible bias from the ways the questions were phrased, for each topic, half of the respondents received a statement asking about online learning compared to in-person learning, while the other half of the respondents received the same statement but reversed, so it asked about in-person learning compared to online learning. For example, a statement about mental health was phrased as “my mental health is better during online classes than it is during in-person classes” for half of the people who took the survey and “my mental health is better during in-person classes than it is during online classes” for the other half. Since the comparison was between just those two choices, a response of “strongly agree” to one ‘version’ of the question means that, at least logically, that same person would have answered “strongly disagree” if they had been asked to respond to the reversed statement. For that reason (and to cut down on the number of charts in this article), all results will be presented in terms of in-person vs online versions of the statements, with all responses to both versions of the question combined.
Here are the results.
“My mental health is better during in-person classes than it is during online classes.”
The majority of students who responded to this question thought that their mental health is better during in-person classes than it is during online classes.
“My professors’ office hours are more convenient in-person than online.”
The highest number of students were neutral on this statement. However, more students thought that online office hours were more convenient than in-person office hours.
“My professors’ office hours are more helpful in-person than online.”
While a high number of students, again, found this statement neutral, many more students found that office hours were more helpful in-person instead of online.
“It is easier for me to work on schoolwork when classes are in-person instead of online.”
The majority of students found it easier to work on schoolwork when classes are in-person.
“It is easier for me to work (at a job) when classes are in-person instead of online.”
The responses to this statement were more varied, but most students thought that working at a job was easier when classes were online.
“It is easier for me to join clubs and extracurriculars when classes are in-person instead of online.”
Again, the majority of students who answered this question find it easier to get involved with clubs and extracurriculars in-person (although, during online classes, many groups, including the Collegian, did meet and organize online).
“My grades, overall, are better when classes are in-person than when they are online.”
This statement had an even split of agreement and disagreement — while eight respondents were neutral, 11 agreed and 11 disagreed in some capacity.
“It is easier for me to connect with my classmates when classes are in-person instead of online.”
Just one respondent disagreed with this statement.
“In-person classes are more interactive than online classes.”
This topic was shown to both students and professors who took the survey, and both groups overall agree that in-person classes are more interactive than online classes. One respondent at the end of the survey made a note that “online classes can be very interactive if the professor knows how to set them up that way.”
All people who took the survey, regardless of if they are students or not, were able to answer questions about La Salle’s distribution of COVID-19 information, contact tracing and COVID-19 testing policies and if they knew who to contact if they had questions on any of those topics.
“La Salle’s distribution of information about online classes, COVID-19 policies and other related topics has overall been up-to-date.”
A majority of respondents thought that this information has been distributed in a timely manner.
“La Salle’s distribution of information about online classes, COVID-19 policies and other related topics has overall been helpful.”
While more people agreed than disagreed with this statement, there was still a fair number of respondents who did not think the University’s information about these topics has been helpful.
“If I have a question about La Salle’s COVID-19 policies, I know who to contact or where to find the information.”
Most respondents seemed to know where they could have their questions answered, although several were also confused and unsure. For current information on La Salle’s COVID-19 policies, check this page.
The last statement students were shown asked them to choose between all online or all in-person classes for the current semester.
“All things considered, if I had to choose between either all in-person classes or all online classes for this semester, I would choose in-person.”
A large majority of respondents prefer in-person classes over online ones for this semester.
“I think that online classes don’t work,” explained one respondent at the end of the survey. “My experiences with online classes have been well,” wrote another. Someone else thinks it is necessary to “keep online classes and accommodations accessible for disabled students and those at highest risk,” and another wrote that it is important to remember that “there is inherent risk to everyone once a person walks outside their home or dorm.”
Although the sample size of this survey is certainly not large enough to represent the campus community as a whole, the results and patterns in the responses are still interesting. Here are my main takeaways.
Overall, the Collegian community, or at least those tuned in enough to respond to this survey, seems to think the University is doing a pretty good job distributing up-to-date and helpful information. Most students who took this survey reported that, in in-person classes, their mental health was better, joining clubs and extracurriculars and connecting with classmates was easier and it was easier to work on schoolwork. However, while classes were online, most respondents found it easier to work at jobs, and many found that online office hours are more convenient than in-person ones. Whether classes were online or in-person didn’t seem to have a consistent effect on students’ grades and, all things considered, the vast majority of students who took this survey would prefer completely in-person classes over totally online ones for this semester.
Many factors have influenced La Salle’s decisions about online classes and COVID-19 policies over the past two years, and some of those factors were certainly not covered in this survey. However, I think it is important to see what students, professors and others in the La Salle community think about changes and policies. We regularly receive surveys from the University about topics like Residence Life and dining options on campus, so why not something including some of the topics and themes in this article? These as well as other subjects could provide important insight to administration about what students think about their decisions and changes — because, after all, shouldn’t they be a little bit interested?
If you have any ideas for topics for future surveys, feel free to contact me at the email linked above!
On Feb. 1, 2022 La Salle’s Board of Trustees Chair William W. Matthews, III, ’90, announced La Salle University’s 30th president. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Daniel J. Allen, Ph.D., as La Salle University’s new president. Dr. Allen’s presidency begins April 18. The search for the president was a nine-month long process that concluded with select finalists meeting with stakeholder groups across our broader university community in late January. The board of trustees explains that Dr. Allen emerged as their candidate of choice to lead La Salle University. Matthews explains in his message, “I have every confidence, as does the Board of Trustees, that Dr. Allen will build upon our impressive foundation and elevate La Salle to significant new heights.” In addition, interim president Tim O’Shaughnessy, ’85 will serve on the Executive Cabinet and provide support in the transition for Allen.
Since 2015, Allen has served at DePaul University in a vice presidential capacity, ending his career as Senior Vice President of Advancement and External Relations. Prior to that, he worked in Catholic higher education for over 20 years and received education from Catholic universities as he completed his Ph.D. in education with a concentration in higher education at Loyola University-Chicago and his M.A. and B.A. in English literature from Loras College.
In his previous role, Allen provided, led and managed all fundraising, alumni relations and advancement communications strategies at DePaul University. In addition to his work at DePaul University, Allen served as the senior associate dean for external relations at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy as well as being Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Lewis University in Romeoville, IL, a Lasallian institution. President-elect Allen has expressed interest in the area of postsecondary educational access for low-income students. In addition, he has presented work on improving opportunities for academically qualified, low-income students to the Association for Institutional Research and has had his research published in “Research in Higher Education.”
In addition to continuing this work at La Salle University, Allen is looking forward to including the voices of students, those in leadership positions and student organizations when planning for changes and goals. In a discussion with the Collegian editorial board, Allen said that one of his goals is for students to think their time at La Salle University “is as robust and as challenging as it can be” so that “students feel it is a vibrant experience.” In addition, Allen plans on being present on campus by attending student activities and sitting down to talk with students to better know and become part of our community at La Salle University. The Collegian staff welcomes President-elect Allen and looks forward to what his presidency has to offer. For more details of Allen’s sit-down with the Collegian, please look to our Editorial section this week.
Last semester, I experienced issues with La Salle’s shuttle system and wrote an article expressing my concerns about the lack of proper communication regarding the shuttle hours. I had explained that my friends and I went downtown and had followed the shuttle service hours posted on La Salle’s page, which stated that the shuttle would be running until 3 a.m. Unbeknownst to us, the shuttle hours were changed, and they were no longer running at the time that we were hoping to get a ride. Had the updated hours been posted, and the shuttle tracking app wasn’t removed, we wouldn’t have been left waiting in the dark on the corner of an unsafe street for a shuttle that was not going to arrive.
Following the article, the updated hours were posted online and the shuttle tracker app was made available again, which I am happy about. However, not long after that, my friends and I had walked to the station, as it was still bright out, but were followed on our walk by an older man that we do not know. Luckily, a shuttle driver noticed and pulled over to pick us up. We were happy to have been given a ride, but were uncomfortable with the fact that we had been followed, so we have felt a bit unnerved at the idea of walking to and from the Septa station on our own since then.
On a recent Friday afternoon we wanted to go downtown, so we tracked the shuttle on the La Salle app to take us to the Septa station. We were waiting on campus when the app said the shuttle had arrived nearby, although it had not. We called public safety and asked to be picked up. When we got on the shuttle, we asked how late they would be running later that night to make sure that we could get back in time so that we would not have to walk home in the dark, just in case we got there later than the posted times. We were told that at any time during the day or night we could call 215-951-1300 and that a shuttle would be sent out to us.
When we got back to the Olney station later that night we used the shuttle tracking app, and, again, it said that the shuttle arrived at the station even though it had not. It was only 7 p.m. at that point, and the shuttle is supposed to run normally until 9 p.m., so we assumed there would be no issue getting a ride if we called the number we were given earlier.
We called and were told that unless we had a medical emergency, a shuttle could not be sent out to us. I explained that we were given that number earlier in the day and were told to call at any point for a ride and was again told that a shuttle would not be sent unless there was a medical emergency. We walked back in the dark in 20-degree weather, still uncomfortable about the fact that we had previously been followed and were in an unsafe neighborhood to be walking around in at night.
I have had no problems with the shuttle drivers themselves as they have consistently expressed how much they value La Salle students’ safety, but I am extremely disappointed in La Salle for their lack of communication and their irresponsibility. My primary purpose in writing this article is to make it known that there needs to be more consistency, communication and emphasis on student safety. La Salle may claim that student safety and well-being is a top priority, but they have continuously proved otherwise. There is consistently better communication regarding the beloved basketball team than about something as crucial as public safety — or anything else, for that matter.