SGA Hosts Town Hall with Father Peter

Emma McLaughlin Staff Writers

On Tuesday, February 26th in the Connelly Cinema, there was a town hall meeting with University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D. from 6:30-7:30p.m. Student Government Vice President, Bridie Dunn, asked Donohue questions before opening it up to the audience. Dunn brought up questions about the construction on campus, cancelling school for inclement weather and what measures Villanova takes to be a more environmentally conscious campus. This was also an opportunity for students to ask Donohue questions about issues on campus.

The first question regarding construction on campus was about the progression of Mendel field. Donohue said it has been an ongoing process because of many complications, such as bad weather. The process entails digging up old pipes under Mendel, Old Falvey, and John Barry. During the procedure, it was very rainy, which postponed the progression of the field. The fencing will be down by the spring, but the field will not be open until August. 

The new apartments will be completed in time. They will be done by May, and final touches such as landscaping will be finished over the summer. The ground level of the apartments consists of new gyms with yoga studios and tech areas. These areas will only be open to the students. In addition, the performing arts center is well underway. The exterior is completed, and the crane has been removed. It is estimated to be done around January 2020. 

The new restaurant beneath the new apartments will be open to the public. This brings up issues of parking. Donohue said there will be new open parking spaces available at certain times of the day for outside customers. 

Donohue comes clean, saying he does not decide the snow days. The Vice President and the Provost make those decisions. They watch the weather very carefully and walk around campus to check for unsafe conditions, and from there decide whether or not to cancel school.

Finally, Dunn asked Donohue how he plans on making Villanova more environmentally friendly. He believes sustainability is important to the school, but it requires individual effort by each student and should be a commitment by everyone. 

Town Hall with Father Peter was a great way for students to interact with the president, as well as learn new things about what is going on around campus.