Thursday, February 3, 2011

Top 10 Concord University stories of the year

2010 was an interesting year for Concord University. There were several developments that will affect CU for years. Some of these are seen as positives - the opening of University Point has been long awaited for years, the football team's turnaround after over a decade of losing seasons has been pleasant to watch, and former President Marsh's monetary donation to Concord is definitely a good thing. 2010 had some negatives as well, as the semester ended in a snowy mess of miscommunication, the zero percent tuition increase looks good on the surface but a closer examination could prove otherwise, and the Student Government's efforts to help Haiti turned into an embarrassing snafu once all was said and done.

This list is by no means definitive. It's just something I thought of and researched a little bit. Lists such as these are very subjective and there really is no right answer on what story is more important than any other story. My list is below.

Top 10 Concord stories of the year:

10) Changes to Homecoming Royalty

In a positive step toward equality, Concord's Student Government Association voted to change the title of Homecoming winners from "King and Queen" to simply "Royalty," and allowing two men or two women to run together. I feel as though this would have been a bigger story if two men or two women did run together, but none did. But, the option is now open for future same-sex groups to run for Homecoming Royalty.

9) Last Day of Fall 2010 Semester

I won't go in too much detail here, as I've blogged about this several times in the past. Basically, Concord should have been placed on the inclement weather schedule or had classes canceled due to the snow. Neither of those things were done. Students showed up and Concord was shut down before noon. [click here to read my coverage]

8) Concord's Cafeteria Goes Trayless

In the name of "going green," Concord University made the eco-friendly move to eliminate trays from the Libby Alvis Dining Hall. While I haven't seen any data on how much money Concord is saving through this, I assume it is substantial enough for this to be a good idea. Going trayless had been a rather hot-button issue through 2010, with several for it and several against.

7) University Point Finally Opens

University Point was an idea first drafted over 50 years ago. Over that time it remained just an idea until donations started coming in more heavily in the last two decades. After a few starts and stops, Concord's new alumni center and non-denominational church (in addition to some other stuff, eventually) is now open on campus.

6) Matt Belcher Elected SGA President

The 3-way race for SGA President was between Rob Elsaid, Korey Hummer, and Matt Belcher. Elsaid was seen as the candidate with the most experience, Hummer was seen as the wildcard with all the buzz around him, and then there was Belcher. After a rather tumultuous start in the SGA, Belcher worked his way up through the ranks and won the student vote for SGA President. The day his win was announced, the SGA Attorney General and Public Defender resigned over the news. [click here to read my coverage of Belcher's win]

5) The SGA's Haiti Donation Problems

Shortly before the Spring 2010 semester started, a powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked Haiti and left the area devastated. Several donation efforts were started and Concord's SGA talked about ways that they could help. A consensus was taken and a popular idea was created - get rid of 2010's "Spring Fling" events and give the money to Haiti. That was in January. Around April, right before the money was to be given out the SGA ran into a loophole - you can't donate state funds to charity. That plan went nowhere and a hastily-put-together Spring Fling occurred. [click here to read some of my coverage of this]

4) Mountain Lion Football Team's Record Turnaround

Concord University had a bad football team for several years. The last winning record was in 1998. The 2007 season saw only one victory. The 2008 season saw zero victories. The 2009 season saw Mike Kellar take over as coach and the team went 6-5. The 2010 season saw them go 8-3, their first 8-win season since 1991. We already have one of the top stories for 2011, as Kellar resigned as Head Coach in January.

3) John David Smith Named New VPAD

In 2008, long-time Concord professor and administrator John David Smith was selected as one of four finalists in a nationwide search to be named Concord's new President. He ultimately was not selected. Fast forward two years and in 2010, JDS was one of four candidates in a nationwide search to be named the new Vice President and Academic Dean. This time he was selected and is now the #2 man on campus, behind President Aloia.

2) Former President Marsh Leaves Millions

Marsh? That sounds familiar, you might be thinking to yourself. Marsh Hall, aka "the admin. building" is named after the former President of Concord, Joseph Marsh, who served from 1959-1973. Odds are you even saw him around campus before his December, 2009, death but just didn't realize it. He was the old man with the gray hair, gray mustache, and thick black glasses who would occasionally make his way to campus events. In his will, Marsh left $3 million to Concord with the intention of hiring an endowed faculty member in the music department and also to restore the pipe organ in the Fine Arts Building.

1) Zero Percent Tuition Increase

On the surface, that sounds like a very good thing. The amount of money students will pay for tuition for the 2010-2011 year is the same as the amount they paid for the 2009-2010 academic year. The only problem is that all of Concord's costs for the 2010-2011 year did not stay at the 2009-2010 levels. It's still too early to see how this has affected Concord and what this will mean for the future. The last time there was a zero percent tuition increase was in the early 1980's. The next year saw a roughly 20% tuition increase. Could something like that happen this year? Not likely, but I do believe the tuition increase will be more than in previous years. This is definitely a story that all Concord students should be paying attention to. [click here to see my coverage]

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There's my list. If you have any thoughts or comments, feel free to leave them. If you disagree with my list or feel as though I left out something important, let me know. This isn't a science, it is very subjective. There are no right answers on what was or was not an important story. Debate is always fun, if done in a civil manner. I allow anonymous comments on my blog, if you would like to leave your thoughts in that manner.


  1. If I remember correctly, the change to Homecoming royalty happened pretty close to homecoming itself so most organizations had already chosen their candidates.


  2. True. The way I heard it, though, was that a group had planned on running same-sex candidates but for whatever reason wound up not doing so. But, it does leave the door open for next Homecoming. That will be interesting whenever a same-sex group does eventually run.