Welcome back for the spring 2012 semester at Queens College—and a special welcome back to our students returning from study abroad programs in Cuba, France, Italy, Japan, Oman, South Africa, and other countries. (Yes, I am a little jealous.) Attending college can be a major challenge as you juggle jobs, coursework, and family obligations, so you are all to be congratulated for continuing with your studies. It is a choice you will never regret.
I know that it is especially tough in our current economy to attend college as you also must consider the impact an increase in tuition can have on your already stretched resources. Even though the college’s tuition is one of the least expensive in the nation, I promise you that we at Queens College will always do all that we can to be sure you can afford a college education. Indeed, a report by the Education Trust, a research and advocacy group, identified Queens College as one of only five U.S. schools that do a good job of serving low-income students, helping them to graduate within six years.
On another front, in an attempt to improve everyone’s health, the college is now completely tobacco-free. I am also happy to note that our residence hall, The Summit, has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, a ranking established by the U.S. Green Building Council. We earned Gold by using less energy and water, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and educating our students about how The Summit is contributing to a healthier environment for everyone.
There is much to look forward to on campus this semester. The major renovation of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts is nearly complete, and the center will be presenting a wonderful schedule of performances this spring. I hope you will also come out to cheer on our sports teams in the coming months (I was very happy to see that more and more of you came out to root for the Knights in the fall season). And this semester the Year of Turkey initiative will be presenting lectures, concerts, theatre and dance events, and art exhibits as we continue our yearlong look at this important nation.
Finally, be sure to wear your red QC logo T-shirt on Wednesday, February 22, the semester’s first QDay. In return, you’ll get a 10 percent discount on all clothing at the QC Bookstore (where you also can buy that red T-shirt) and 5 percent off on all purchases in Q-Café, Dairy Stop, One Sushi, and Q-Venience (10 am–3 pm). We will also celebrate QDay on the first Wednesday of March, April, and May.
I wish you all the best for the spring semester.