Board Of Trustees To Discuss Campus Recreational Facilities, University Ethics Initiatives

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The Penn State Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday and Friday, and the major agenda item involves access to campus recreational facilities.

In response to a Freeh Report recommendation, the university has been working to tighten access at facilities like Rec Hall, White Building, and McCoy Natatorium over the last few years.

That effort could get a whole lot more expensive after this week’s meetings, as the Committee on Finance, Business, and Capital Planning will vote on spending $7.5 million to install turnstiles at campus recreational facilities. These would be staffed to ensure IDs are swiped.

Under the existing policy, recreational facilities are only useable by individuals with a valid university student or faculty/staff/trustee/retiree ID card programmed to allow access, plus one accompanied guest.

“In order to comply with this policy, various modifications are required at central access points into three University Park recreation facilities: White Building, McCoy Natatorium, and Recreation Hall,” the agenda says. “Increased security measures including physical turnstiles and new space for support staff, will be implemented. The addition of vertical circulation at the McCoy Natatorium and White Building entrances will help ease congestion.”

If passed, the project will also include exterior improvements to these buildings in order to “promote the sense of ‘main entrances'” into the facilities. As always, the committee vote only sends the financial expenditure to the full board, where it will be voted on again on Friday.

Among the other notable agenda items from Thursday’s committee meetings is a presentation by university ethics officer Dr. Timothy Ballett at the Committee of Legal and Compliance meeting. Ballett will give an overview of the university ethics initiatives.

At the Committee on Academic Affairs and Student Life meeting on Thursday afternoon, vice president for student affairs Damon Sims will speak about the use of alcohol at university-sponsored events and the consistency of the policy. Whether or not Sims will specifically address the future of alcohol sales at concerts after the test run at Garth Brooks’ shows is unclear.

Last but not least, the Committee on Governance and Long-Range Planning will hear an update on the university’s strategic plan from executive vice president and provost Nick Jones. The committee will also vote on changes to the 2016 board meeting dates, though the specific changes aren’t noted on the agenda.

For a look at the committee and full board agendas, along with the specific meeting times and locations, head over to the Board of Trustees website.

Friday’s full board meeting will be kicked off by the public comment session — which will be live streamed on the WPSU website — at 11:15 a.m. The actual meeting will be called to order at 1:30 p.m. and is scheduled for three hours.

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Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a StateCollege.com reporter and Onward State's Managing Editor Emeritus. You can find him at the Phyrst more nights than not. If he had to pick a last meal, Zach would go for a medium-rare New York strip steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a cold BrewDog Punk IPA. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @theZachBerger.

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