With the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, students made a new year’s resolutions, they vowed to change their lives for the better, and, overall, adopted an “out with the old, in with the new” mentality.

But at The Northern Review we recognize that “last year’s” news may still be pertinent to the lives of students today.  Thus, for our start of year resolution, we vow to continue to cover the events that matter most to you, the students of Ohio Northern University.

Many important stories that debuted in 2011 have yet to be finalized in 2012; the Review will continue to follow any new developments to ensure that the constituents of ONU always retain their right to knowledge, voice and choice.

So in case you missed it, three major stories on campus that we will continue to update in 2012 are the proposed $5 water fee, the search for a University chaplain, and the plans for a new student center.

Ada Water

Prompted by pressures from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Ada city council announced in November that the city would need to expand the existing wastewater treatment plant in order to accommodate the growing population and meet EPA standards. The proposal is expected to cost roughly 10 million dollars.

Ada residents with a standard meter would help raise the necessary dollars by paying a $5 fee that would be added to their water bill each month, raising the minimum water bill from $49/month to $54/month.

Those residents using a meter larger than the standard 5/8 inch, such as Ohio Northern University, would be subject to higher fees.

This ordinance passed on third reading, pushing the fee into effect. The fee will be implemented in January, but residents will not see the increase on their bill until February, Jim Meyer, Ada village administrator, said.

Chaplain position

Before Christmas break, the University interviewed its third candidate this year for the chaplain position, one interviewee being the current interim chaplain, Rory Stauber.

While the search committee has not yet made a decision as to who the new chaplain will be; committee member Adriane Thompson-Bradshaw told the Review that the committee hopes to name their selection before students leave for spring break.

New Student Center

Last year the University began serious talks on building a new student center: former University President Kendall Baker conducted a campus-wide survey to help determine details such as where students would most prefer the center to be located, what amenities they would like included and what they would be willing to pay to ensure the center was built.

All plans were put on hold, however, following a two-level downgrade in ONU’s bond ratings from A3 to Baa2, in March 2011. The downgrade hindered the University’s ability to secure loans, thereby postponing further discussions of building a student center.

The downgrade was the result of a financial review by Moody’s Investors Services, ONU’s lending company. They cited ONU’s “weakening financial position” as a cause of concern, referring to a decrease in enrollment over the past two years.

Current University President, Daniel DiBiasio, told the review that “due to the Moody’s downgrade, other options for the student center need to be considered,” meaning building a new student center from scratch may be out of the works entirely.

He said a preliminary discussion of possible options took place at ONU’s Board Executive Committee Meeting in December and such discussions will continue at the February Board meeting.

The Review will continue to follow these stories as they progress.

If students, faculty or staff would like updated information on another story covered in past years, please send inquiries to the Review staff at northern-review@onu.edu.

Additionally, any ideas for new stories can be submitted to the same email or sent directly to the editor at k-durbin@onu.edu

It’s YOUR news, so let’s put YOU in it!

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