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Student Handbook Soldiers On

Whatever your opinions on the freshman handbook, a timeline was confirmed last night with a printing date of May 1st. UPUA’s Handbook Committee met to discuss their plans for the book, which will most likely be called “The S Book”. At the meeting was Ben Bronstein ’61, who edited the 1960 and 1961 editions of the book. He will be serving in an advising capacity, helping guide the handbook’s revival.

According to Bronstein, the book was an integral part of a students freshman experience in previous years. There were several examples of past handbooks at the meeting, all of which fit the description of “a keepsake to last beyond your years at Penn State”. While they may not be able to have the books leather bound as they were in 1937, with the proper design,the book may be more than a toss-able handout.

There has been much argument about whether the book should be print or digital, but there has been little discussion of its content. There will be several sections, including, but not limited to:

  • History and Traditions
  • Student Services
  • On and Off-Campus Living
  • Academics
  • Maps and Landmarks
  • Student Organizations

It seems that the book will cover the necessary information. How it will be presented is still being discussed. Being a print publication, there are limitations on how information can be presented.

With a short time frame to get the book produced for next year, most of the writing is being done by UPUA staff and interns. The design of the book is being led by Molly Klayman, Homecoming ’09 Executive Director, along with graphics design majors. Samantha Miller, head of the project, said she is looking for more volunteers, though. When Bronstein was editor, the Freshman Handbook was considered equal to The Daily Collegian and La Vie, a respected publication that many journalism and English majors could be involved with. Those interested in having input on the $21,000 project can email Miller at [email protected] to join the group.

While I was skeptical about this project at first, I can see the handbook being a success if pulled off correctly. Between including advertisements from local businesses and printing through Penn State’s Multimedia Services, efforts are being made to keep costs down. With just two and a half months until the print date, we won’t have to wait much longer to see if UPUA can pull it off.

About the Author

Nick Johnson

Nick is a junior majoring in IST (the Internet) and CAS (saying things). He hopes to one day get paid to do this, but for now he is willing to do it for the fame. Besides writing for Onward State, he also puts things on the Internet here.

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