Pass/Fail: Two-year stay in halls beneficial, MyNIU update a waste of time

By Kim Randall

Pass: Two-year stay in halls beneficial

Two years in the residence halls may soon be a reality for students.

A decision about mandating students to live in the residence halls for their freshman and sophomore years will be made in May, according to a March 17 Northern Star article.

If this is put in place, it would be a great first step toward improving retention, which NIU needs to do.

This decision may ruffle the feathers of some freshmen looking to get out of the halls for their sophomore years, but it’s not so bad.

Many students leave the halls and find themselves sinking financially and academically. They can avoid that by staying a second year.

Living in the residence halls eliminates having to find an apartment and all that comes with it: rent, bills and cooking. These expenses are mostly coming out of your pocket, and when you cannot pay you are left out in the cold. Students should use their financial aid to live in the residence halls, which guarantees shelter and food.

The residence halls also offer students better access to activities and events. When you live off-campus, it can be a struggle to find out about all that is happening on campus.

Students may think having a year under their belts makes them ready to make a big leap to apartments, but one year isn’t enough.

Staying in the halls a second year isn’t a death sentence. It provides more time for students to get better adjusted to and remain in college.

Fail: MyNIU update a waste of time

Have you ever logged into a website and instantly become overwhelmed? Well, log into MyNIU if you haven’t lately. It’s a real doozy.

On a seemingly average Wednesday afternoon during spring break, I decided to log into MyNIU’s student portal. Well, what followed was quite breathtaking — and I don’t mean that in a good way. I almost had to recheck what I typed in because the site looked completely different.

MyNIU has been given yet another facelift, getting a completely new layout. Surprise, surprise.

For instance, there is a heading that reads “MyNIU Quick Links” where you can access Blackboard, Student Center, student email and other pages. This is just what I came on the site for, but I didn’t expect to play a game of “Clue” to find it.

I’m all for revamping a site to make navigation easier and accessible to everyone, but there is a limit. There was nothing wrong with the old MyNIU’s layout and navigation, and this one is just pointless — not to mention overly busy.

Instead of reconstructing the student site so often, energy and focus should be put into something more useful, like determining enrollment tactics.

Then, perhaps, the constant improvements of our beloved MyNIU site would be justified.