Dear Interim President Patterson,
The Slate staff would like to welcome and congratulate you on behalf of the student body. We are looking forward to the coming months with many hopes.
Shippensburg University is our home, and we look forward to you and your family joining us in the Cumberland Valley.
But we wanted to share a little bit more about ourselves before you get here.
We are the Raiders, something you probably already knew. Our campus is located at the edge of the Shippensburg Borough, but there is plenty of farmland surrounding the campus. Believe us, you will be able to smell it when you arrive. Make sure to bring an umbrella, as it seems to rain almost every Thursday.
Mark your calendar for The Slate, which hits newsstands on Tuesdays. A few copies will be delivered to your Old Main office. And do not pack a lunch or make any other plans for Wednesdays — Raider Bowl Wednesday is a delicacy you will find weekly in the Ceddia Union Building (CUB).
You should also know that the community you are joining is a family. This feeling of “family and home” is the reason why “Ship is it” for so many of our students. Our campus community members hail from all over the United States and the world.
In that same vein, we are not always a perfect family. We have struggles, which we try to solve. We strive for equity, opportunities and inclusion for all members of our family. However, there have been times in the past when we have failed at this. Together we are trying to learn from our past while creating a better future for us all. It is a daily fight we all partake in for equity and equality for every campus community member.
We as a campus community applaud your described value and commitment to transparency and communicating facts. We hope you will maintain these practices with us through town halls, open forums and consistent meetings with student media.
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Redesign has been a difficult process for our community. Our faculty and administration members have tirelessly worked in committees and groups to save money without compromising the quality of the SU experience.
We have heard the stories of retrenchment and the gutting of academic departments at our sister schools. It is these stories, along with our day-to-day experiences on this campus, that fuel our fight to remain independent and financially sustainable.
Our faculty members care about their students and the quality of the education their students receive. Our professors are continuing to do more with less, all with the added stress of a global pandemic. As we exit this past year, we come out stronger, with more appreciation for what we had and more commitment to building back our student experience.
We hope you will honor our efforts to remain financially independent and to maintain our world-class faculty and educational experiences. We value our faculty and staff members. We value the hard work they do inside and outside of the classroom. We have been through a lot in these past few years. We have fought and will continue our fight for the community we so dearly love.
Accessibility and accountability are key to maintaining a healthy relationship between the campus community and its president. We hope you will provide access and insight into your administration.
Since 1957, The Slate has served the SU community by providing it with vital news and insightful commentary, as well as a place for our students to build their skills in journalism and communication. The Slate staff looks forward to covering you and your administration.
The Slate Staff