Classes are almost over and you know what that means:
summer finals! As the 2015-16 school year comes to a close, what better time to take a look back on the events that shaped the course of our year at Dear Old State.
So maybe there were no rallies, but if you’re feeling nostalgic hop into the OS time machine and relive the 2015-16 school year here in Happy Valley.
Convocation Welcomes Class Of 2019
What would a new school year be without a new round of eager, wide-eyed freshmen? Every year, the university welcomes the newest breed of Penn Staters in the Bryce Jordan Center with speeches from Eric Barron and then-UPUA President Emily McDonald and even gives each student a colored T-shirt depending on their major. Sure you wouldn’t be caught dead in that shirt now, but in August it was pretty cool.
Sheetz On Pugh (We All Cheer)
The Yinzer-based convenience store opened a shop on Pugh Street, offering not only a taste of home for central and western Pennsylvanians but also another late-night grub stop in the 24/7 store.
Fatal Car Crash Returning Home From Canning, THON Reevaluates Practices
A car containing THON volunteers from Alpha Chi Omega and TKE crashed on the way back to Penn State from the first canning trip, tragically taking a member of the Penn State community, Vitalya “Tally” Sepot from us far too soon. The incident forced THON to look at its canning safety and caused the organization to cancel the remaining two canning weekends in 2015.
Faculty Senate Removes Late Drop Credit Limit
After some hard work and advocacy from UPUA, Faculty Senate removed the 16-credit late drop credit limit, affording students the opportunity to drop a class (up to three times) without having to worry about future classes or reserving the credits for harder/later classes. Though this happened partially because of LionPATH restrictions, it was a big win for UPUA and for students who are concerned about preserving their GPA.
John Donovan Fired
A season nothing short of abysmal from then-offensive coordinator John Donovan brought football fans out online and with theoretical pitchforks calling for the coach’s resignation. Following a crushing loss to Michigan State, Penn State finally pulled the trigger on Donovan, much to the satisfaction of fans.
Women’s Soccer Takes The Crown
A Loss Down South — The Taxslayer Bowl
Penn State football earned the opportunity to compete in its second bowl game since the ban was lifted last year, but the match-up against Georgia ultimately left the Nittany Lions retreating back to PA with nothing more than some sweet Taxslayer swag. Georgia defeated Penn State 27-14 in Jacksonville, Fla. despite the well-traveled crowd.
THON Raises $9,770,332.32 FTK
Though the decreased number of canning weekends led to a lower total than years past, thousands came out (as always) to support the 708 dancers and participate in the fight against pediatric cancer. The entirety of THON is far too much to sum up in this paragraph, but you can check out our best features from THON 2016, our photo story to relive the weekend in all its colorful, emotional glory, or our live blog if you want to look back on the weekend minute-by-minute.
Penn State Gets Paid
Wednesday, March 23
After a nine-month impasse and thousands of letters, tweets, and trips to Harrisburg, Governor Tom Wolf finally allowed Penn State’s budget to pass. Penn State received an appropriation of $225 million plus $50.5 million to the College of Ag Sciences. allowing the university to hold onto its workers and get students the money they need.
State Patty’s Day Makes A Comeback
Though it wasn’t quite the State Patty’s glory days, the pseudo-holiday was far more raucous than it’s been in years past. Bars closed unanticipatedly early and the general public noted more green and celebration. In addition to a notable influx of activity downtown compared to past years, the weekend saw an increase in crime numbers and EMS calls.
Terry Ford Wins UPUA Presidency
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the tumultuous 2016 UPUA election was one for the record books. After GroupMe messages from the Agnihotri/Fleming campaign were leaked, the ticket was the second ever to be disqualified, leaving only one official ticket on the ballot in Terry Ford and Katie Jordan, as well as a few write-in campaigns. Despite the craziness, Ford/Jordan handily won the election and took the executive positions for UPUA’s 11th Assembly.
Mike The Mailman Retires
Mike “The Mailman” Herr decided it was time to step down from his post after 48 years. In the month or so from when he announced his retirement until the day he postmarked his final letter, Mike received an outpouring of love from the Penn State community which will forever honor him as the celebrity he is.
LioPATH Unveiled, Unfortunately
April and beyond
Penn State unveiled its new course and student management platform, LionPATH, for fall 2016 registration, but as students began to use it to schedule it became obvious the site wasn’t exactly user-friendly and pretty much every student who used it complained of its poor user-interface and difficult navigation. Despite all this (and the fact the university spent $66 million on it), LionPATH is here to stay.
Bernie Visits Rec Hall
President-hopeful Sanders brought the #bern to Penn State in a rally that attracted more than 6,500. Some waited all day to hear Sanders speak, and by the time the Rec Hall doors opened, the line stretched across the IST bridge and far into West Campus.
THON Reevaluates, Decides To Phase Out Canning
THON announced last week that come THON 2019, canning will be nothing but a legacy for upperclassmen and alumni. The organization decided to phase out canning in a two-year process amid safety concerns. Many were up in arms over the decision, but as it stands now there are only three canning trips left in the entirety of THON…ever.
But Wait, There’s More
There’s but a sliver of the school year left, but a lot to look forward to. Tomorrow night will see couples dressed in their best emerge for Frat Formal Friday as Walk the Moon and Nelly take the stage at Movin’ On. We can just skip over finals to next weekend when members of Penn State’s Class of 2016 will walk across the stage and receive their diplomas, rounding out the year with an air of finality.