Unofficial integration begins for RU and RMU

by Raneen El-Barbarawi / Staff Reporter

Roosevelt University welcomes Robert Morris university on the first floor of the Wabash building entrance. Photo by Raneen El-Barbarawi.

The Roosevelt University and Robert Morris University integration that was introduced last semester seemed to only be a discussion that was yet to happen. However, the crowded elevators and packed classrooms on Feb. 24, were signs that Roosevelt was welcoming Robert Morris students to campus already.

Although the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) hasn’t officially approved of the integration, Roosevelt decided to take initial steps to integrate between the two schools.

As news spread around Roosevelt’s campus that the unofficial integration had begun, people were beginning to see Robert Morris students taking classes in the auditorium building. Robert Morris students were also instructed to switch to Roosevelt’s school IDs.

Indeed, students from both schools reflected on their feelings regarding the transitioning between their schools.

“I think that it will help students who have the same majors,” said Keith Franklin, 21, a senior majoring in business management and marketing at RMU. “With Roosevelt being a social justice school and Robert Morris being a business school, tying those two into each other can help somebody who actually wants to start up their own company with social justice.”

Franklin also said that he doesn’t “really have an issue with the merger.” But the only issue he has is “how the athletes will take it when it comes to tryout times and making their teams.”

“How will that affect them and the coaching staff? What coaches will stay and leave?” Franklin questioned.  

“I would hope to see the makeup of the higher bureaucracy look like the social justice movement that they’re saying they want to work on because it will give students hopes and aspirations to believe that they could achieve change in the structure of our society,” said Troy Gaston, 37, a senior majoring in political science at Roosevelt University.

However, students like Samantha Brown, 23, a senior at RMU majoring in law office administration, spoke of her frustration towards the sudden integration. “I’m upset with how the transition went and how unknown I was with the process, what was happening and how my life was going to continue on, but, I mean, I’m here and we’re just going to have to deal with it.”

However, other students expressed more optimism towards the integration.

“I think the integration is great because it gives Robert Morris students more access to educational opportunities like resources and financial aid,” said Gaston.

Jack Forman, 18, a freshman majoring in business at RMU, said, “Academically, I prefer it. I think Roosevelt seems more complete; they seem like more of a school than Robert Morris does.” 

“I think that RMU has other priorities, so it didn’t really feel like I was getting what I was paying for academically. But, I feel like there’s more of an emphasis on our education at Roosevelt and that’s why I’m really happy about the merger,” Forman added.

Forman then explained that he’s starting to take an accounting class at Roosevelt. “So far, I really like it. It feels more structured in a weird way; I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just having the brand of Roosevelt in front of it that makes it feel more academic.”

Forman also explained that he’s in the electronic sports program at RMU and Roosevelt wanted to “pick it up.”

“They’ve been extremely interested in it. So, that’s another factor why I appreciate Roosevelt; they seem to be open-minded,” said Forman.

Onboarding event held on the second floor of the auditorium building to introduce Robert Morris students to Roosevelt’s different programs. Photo by Raneen El-Barbarawi.

In fact, Roosevelt held an onboarding event to introduce RMU students on the variety of different programs held at Roosevelt.

Marcel Jones, 21, a freshman majoring in business at RMU, also spoke on the difference in terms of academics at Roosevelt University compared to Robert Morris. “I feel like we’ll be able to get a better education from Roosevelt than Robert Morris,” said Jones, adding that he hasn’t taken any classes at Roosevelt yet, but he’s excited to.

Jones also explained that he’s looking forward to “better instructors. Most of my Robert Morris professors were good at communication, but I actually spoke to some of the professors here at Roosevelt and I’m excited to be in their classrooms.”  

“Adding Roosevelt with RMU brings so much culture and so many things to the school,” Franklin added.

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