Editorial: RU excels in opportunities for low-income students

Community gardens outside Willow Hall. - Managing Editor / Abigail Twiford

Though it is not new for The Whit Staff to offer Rowan ways to improve life for students, faculty, and the community as a whole, it would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the things that make this a great educational environment. 

One of these things is the resources available to low-income students. 

The university has numerous and greatly varied resources for those in need. These resources are what truly set the campus apart from other universities, both across the country and within the state. It is the opinion of The Whit Staff that this aspect of the university should be more widely acknowledged. 

Food is a big one. The Shop is well known around campus as a place students in need can go to get groceries at no cost and with no requirement to provide proof of financial need. The West Campus Farm and the community garden run by the Rowan Environmental Action League also provide fresh produce for The Shop. Students can also pick their own produce from the community garden. Fresh For All run by Philabundance, also provides produce out of Lot D on Friday mornings. This is for Rowan students and the entire Glassboro community. 

The Whit Staff believes these resources are crucially important for students since food insecurity has a detrimental effect on a student’s ability to be successful in their education— if they can complete school at all. Food security also allows students to enjoy better health. 

Healthcare, which is vitally important but also often unaffordable for many, is provided to students who need assistance accessing it— mostly through the Wellness Center. The Wellness Center partners with FamCare and provides free STI testing, pelvic exams, contraceptive birth control, as well as various other sexual and reproductive health services every Monday and Wednesday in the Wellness Center. The Wellness Center also provides general health visits for sick or injured students, vaccinations, rapid testing, and medication all at no cost to the student.

Similarly, Free Condom Friday is run at the information desk of the Wellness Center every Friday, allowing students no-cost access to condoms, dental dams, and flavored lube. All students can also keep themselves fit and active with access to the Rec Center and group fitness classes provided for free.  

This access to healthcare and preventative measures allows students to focus on getting good grades in their classes and not how they will pay for an annual check-up, a pack of condoms, or their flu shot. 

The university also has an emergency fund for students who come into unexpected hardships during the semester. Though financial need must be demonstrated, this fund allows students who come into an unfortunate circumstance do not have to end or postpone their education, making it easier to complete school no matter what life throws at a student. 

Besides that, the university also has a variety of professional resources to help students find careers and internships in their fields. The office of career advancement has a closet of professional clothing that students can use when going to interviews and working in professional environments. All students have access to LinkedIn Learning at no cost, which can help students develop and hone marketable and valuable skills. 

These items help students get jobs, internships, and long-term careers without having to worry about affording often pricey professional clothing or having to learn specific skills without the benefit of quality instruction. 

It is the opinion of The Whit Staff that these resources made available to students through the university are invaluable in their ability to help students succeed in their classes and their future professional lives.

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