The end of the school year is a time of goodbyes, but also one of reflection.
Shippensburg University has undergone numerous changes this year, and The Slate has been here to put those changes in writing.
Unfortunately, some of these changes are because of direct mismanagement at the administrative level and a lack of transparency with students. This lack of communication first became apparent when the administration failed to provide any follow-up information regarding the vandalization of S.A.F.E.’s office door in the fall, and has continued ever since.
The latest incident occurred within the last week as reports arose detailing two separate sexual assaults on SU’s campus. The administration has given the students radio silence, despite the fact that SU was ranked as the 19th safest college in the U.S. because of its programming to support women’s safety, according to yourlocalsecurity.com.
It is nothing short of disappointing that our administrators — who technically work for us — do not care enough to share updates on two specific incidents which come with possible safety concerns for students.
But the transparency issues don’t end there. In The Slate’s news section this week, you can read about how SU has prioritized spending money on turning Stewart Hall into an alumni welcome center, while three doors down sits Gilbert Hall — the deteriorating home of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA).
All the while, SU students are inundated with emails from President Laurie Carter, which detail the many positive events on campus, but no mention of all the issues requiring student awareness.
These administrators would obviously rather focus on the good from a public relations-standpoint, but a failure to even acknowledge the bad makes them look either suspicious or incompetent.
After the story detailing the possible closing of Kriner Hall was published, The Slate’s Facebook page had approximately 3,000 reactions to the article link, and there was a noticeable difference in the number of papers picked up from newsstands.
I say all of this not to brag, but to exhibit how interested students are in information that they are not being provided by administrators.
After the story gained traction, I waited with bated breath for the administration to reach out to The Slate, or for comment to be issued to students. But there was nothing.
And in hindsight, that is the reaction to be expected. Because our administrators apparently care more about the availability of funds for projects like Stewart Hall and less about student experience, they are not going to ever do more than the bare minimum when it comes to helping students of all academic fields.
Instead, SU students can continue to hear about “makin’ waves,” the “Ship family” and more cliches that are only a reality in the minds of administrators until they choose to address some very real issues on this campus — including the deterioration of Gilbert Hall and the lack of proper resources at the Pride Center.
I instead urge the SU community to turn to The Slate next year as it continues its investigative work and mission to serve the community.
The lack of information students receive will only prohibit them from having a terrific SU experience. I have loved my time at Ship, but the ship I know has long since sailed.