Noelle E. Cockett
Utah State University
Students and alumni returning to the Logan campus this fall may notice some improvements.
In May, the Sorenson Legacy Foundation Center for Clinical Excellence opened, creating new opportunities for advancing research, student training, and comprehensive clinical services for the public. After two years of construction, the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art re-opened its doors with a new look and new exhibit Collecting on the Edge, which features works from NEHMA’s permanent collection and opens on Sept. 15. And in the coming weeks, the new Life Sciences building will be ready for occupancy. It will provide much needed space for teaching labs, lecture halls, and collaborative study areas for students.
As I begin my second year as USU’s president, I am excited for what the future holds. However, I am also reminded of the challenges a university faces. The past several months have brought to light many important issues USU needs to address including sexual violence, harassment, and gender discrimination. And while these issues have become prominent at many institutions across the nation, I have made the strongest commitment I can to establish a campus culture intolerant of this kind of behavior. We must cultivate a foundation at USU that demonstrates our absolute commitment to making our campus a safe and healthy environment, where students can reach their full potential.
I’m pleased to report that we are actively creating a culture of accountability and mutual support. In June, some USU students noticed suspicious behavior by one of their peers and notified police that he was attempting to purchase weapons in a way that would go undetected. Because of their actions, the student was arrested in San Jose where he lives and remains in jail. We do not know his intentions, but we do know that those USU students did the right thing in coming forward. That is the aim of USU’s Aggies Think, Care, Act initiative, which encourages all Aggies to take an active role in preventing interpersonal violence, harassment, and suicide, and to encourage Aggies to advocate for others in need.
I am looking forward to a wonderful fall semester. While I hope students take full advantage of the many academic offerings the university provides, I would like to remind them, and our alumni, to take a break every now and again and enjoy the many convocations, exhibits, performances, and athletics events happening on our campus—truly immerse yourself in college life. The learning never ends.