8 storylines every freshman should know about

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Syracuse University’s history is packed full with newsworthy moments. Here are a few of the most notable storylines from the last year you should read up on before you start your first year at SU.

chucks_allymoreo_pe121Ally Moreo | Photo Editor

1. Hungry for more Chucks

Although many will be deprived of the experience of going to Hungry Chucks, you should still come to Syracuse University knowing the history of this Marshall Street landmark. BLVD Equities, a New Jersey-based real estate development firm, demolished the bar earlier this year as well as several other businesses along South Crouse Avenue to construct a “mixed-use” building that would include luxury student apartments. Among the other local spots that met their fate were appeTHAIzing and Funk ‘n Waffles. On April 18, SU students went to Chucks for the last time, basked in the dim lighting and the scent of stale beer and gave it a proper goodbye. While it is still unclear if the SU favorite will reopen in a different location, the owner of the bar Stephen Theobald left SU students with some peace of mind. “We have to balance what is good for the restaurant and what is good for our customers,” Theobald said back in April. “We had to balance what was good for class of 2017 with what will be good for the class of 2018, 2019 and beyond.”

syverud_4_frankieprijatelsspFrankie Prijatel | Senior Staff Photographer

2. Meet your chancellor 

For more than three years, Kent Syverud has served as SU’s chancellor and an “Orange Friend” to many, but the overall consensus at SU is mixed. Based on interviews with more than 50 faculty, staff and administrators, Syverud is viewed by the university community as a chancellor who means well and often does well, but who has also taken repeated missteps in some areas. From his decision to close the Advocacy Center — which provided resources to victims of sexual assault — to opting not to compile a public record of average faculty salaries in SU’s schools and colleges, known as the Committee Z report, many of his decisions have been met with opposition. “I wouldn’t want to be at a place where people feel compelled to agree universally all the time,” Syverud said. “So when people disagree or point out imperfections in things, it doesn’t bother me. It tells me we’re a university.”


3.  Attire: Tailgate chic

SU might be the No. 4 party school in the nation, according the Princeton Review, but it’s No. 1 in our hearts. This year, Tulane University was at the top of the “Party Schools” list, with West Virginia University and Bucknell University being ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Rankings were determined using surveys from 137,000 students at 382 schools, and schools listed on any of the Princeton Review’s 62 top 20 lists indicated “a very high consensus of opinion about the topic,” according to its website. For the last six years, the Princeton Review has consistently ranked SU among the top 10 party schools in the country. But SU doesn’t just claim a top spot for partying: It also ranked No. 1 in “Students Pack the Stadiums,” No. 6 in “Lots of Beer,” No. 9 in “Lots of Hard Liquor” and No. 14 in “Lots of Greek Life.” The university also claimed the No. 1 spot on the “Best College Newspaper” list, No. 5 in “Best College Radio Station,” No. 8 in “Most Politically Active Students” and No. 13 in “Top 25 Entrepreneurship: Undergrad.”

UBEREmmy Gnat | Head Illustrator

4. Life is a highway

This incoming class will never know the mental strife brought about when faced with the decision of whether or not splurging for a cab up to Mount Olympus is really worth it. Thanks to countless efforts made to bring ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft to Syracuse, this campus-wide wish was finally granted. As of June 29, ride-hailing services across New York state were legalized. The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles now oversees ride-hailing service companies to make sure they follow laws and regulations. The agreement requires certain safety standards for the services, such as mandatory background checks, and mandates that companies have a $1.25 million minimum insurance level while a passenger is using the service.

083116_p_ken_jessicasheldon_pe-2911Jes Sheldon | Photo Editor

5. A legal matter

Last fall, then-the dean of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management was arrested on the charge of patronizing a prostitute. Kenneth Kavajecz was arrested on a misdemeanor of patronizing a person for prostitution in the third degree and was removed from his position as dean and put on administrative leave. Kavajecz’s post was later filled by Eugene “Gene” Anderson on July 1. Kavajecz’s next court appearance is currently set for Oct. 5.

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6. Invest Syracuse

This summer, SU announced a $100 million academic initiative known as Invest Syracuse: Advancing Academic Excellence and the Student Experience. According to Chancellor Kent Syverud, “Invest Syracuse is a sound strategy as we pursue shared goals and a vision that is both aspirational and achievable,” Syverud said in an email sent to the SU community. The initiative is meant to improve students’ experiences in a number of different areas, including: providing personalized academic and career guidance, ensuring students have global learning experiences while at SU, hiring 100 additional faculty scholars and rebalancing student loans and grants so that students will graduate with less debt. This new initiative will be funded by administrative cost savings and efficiencies, philanthropy and fundraising and rebased tuition, according to a Syracuse University News release.

09232013_n_i81_lukerafferty_sp829-3Daily Orange File Photo

7. Merging governments?

Earlier this year, the citizen group Consensus released its final recommendations for combining the governments of the city of Syracuse and Onondaga County. The group, composed of 19 legislators and community members, also pushed for the combination of some essential government services offered by both the city and the county in an effort to cut costs. Consensus’ plan included unifying the city of Syracuse and Onondaga County into a single government, merging the Syracuse Police Department and the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office and creating a countywide “Operations Support Organization” that would provide services to all fire stations.

Based on the Consensus report, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney is developing a savings plan known as the County-Wide Shared Services Plan. Onondaga County officials have marked Sept. 15 as the deadline for a panel reviewing the plan to vote on it.

42716_n_dronephoto_willcarrara_cp_web2Will Carrara | Contributing Photographer

8. Future improvements

At the start of Syverud’s tenure, he introduced Fast Forward Syracuse, an initiative for the university that would serve as a framework for future administrative decisions. Fast Forward Syracuse is composed of three parts: the Academic Strategic Plan, the Campus Framework and the Operational Excellence Program. The Campus Framework is a 20-year infrastructure plan for the improvement and development of the physical campus. While some of the short-term goals have already been completed, such as the University Place promenade, long-term goals such as phasing out student housing on South Campus are still in the works. The latest draft of the Campus Framework, released earlier this summer, detailed many other projects, including the National Veterans Resource Complex , Carrier Dome improvements and roof replacement, the Barnes Center at the Arch and Waverly Avenue streetscape improvements. Throughout the summer, the university worked on more than 120 campus construction projects detailed in the Campus Framework plan.


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