Parking fees, campus accessibility and dining options were among the concerns voiced by Shippensburg University community members during the President’s Hour held on Oct. 1 in the Harley Multipurpose Room.
SU President Laurie Carter, along with representatives of various campus services and departments, answered questions and addressed concerns for about an hour.
The panel of representatives included Provost Tom Ormond; Dean of Students Donna Gross; and Senior Vice President of Enrollment Management and Senior Vice President of Student Affairs and Student Success Donta Truss.
SU Police Chief Michael Lee addressed one student’s concern about increased police patrolling presence on campus
“We are patrolling a lot more,” Lee said. “We had some issues in the last few weeks, there were several fights that took place in and around the area of the CUB and Naugle and Seavers as well.”
Lee said it is a good idea for students to know all officers and students will be seeing them more often in the residence halls.
SUPD is also looking to assign certain officers to certain halls so both students and law enforcement can establish a better relationship with one another.
The most frequently mentioned issues by students were directed to the SUPD, focusing on parking issues.
Students expressed their distress over where the money for parking decals and tickets go.
According to Scott Barton, Senior Vice President of Administration and Finance, parking revenues collected from the $75 parking permits go toward the upkeep of the parking lots. This includes repaving lots and repainting lines.
The revenues collected through parking tickets go to the general fund and are redistributed to the police department’s initiatives, Barton said.
Truss announced that additional funding was given to the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs sponsored program, “Building Bridges.”
Later in the evening, Carter and Gross reassured students’ concerns of overscheduling of the counseling center.
“This is not a Shippensburg University issue,” Carter said. “It is a national issue. Across the country students are experiencing higher levels of anxiety and stress and universities have to figure out how to help students deal with that.”
Carter referred to the wellness campaign SU started this fall, which encourages and helps students to manage what they are experiencing while still being successful.
Gross explained that the counseling center is only booked four weeks out, but staff will always try to make accommodations during emergencies.
Other issues brought up during the discussion included sustainability commitments, the potential repurposing of an area beside the Ezra Lehman Memorial Library and funding for childhood education majors who have to travel to their student teaching placements.
RHA-sponsored President’s Hours are held at various points throughout the semester.