CCSG Chats With Spanier, Approves Transition Program
The second Council meeting of the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments took place on last Friday and Saturday. They passed three resolutions and tabled another (though it only dealt with the dates for Council next year). On Friday night, Graham Spanier made a short speech and then took questions from the Council and the gallery.
The most prevalent issue that came up was housing and enrollment. “Housing is the most complicated thing we’re dealing with right now,” said Spanier. While he said that the University Park student population was capped at 44,000, the University was still looking for ways to increase the overall population of 96,000 by growing enrollment across the Commonwealth, despite the financial cutbacks Penn State is expected to face.
Building some more housing at Commonwealth campuses was one way to accomplish this, he said. However, he cautioned, “If we build it, will they come? We have a lot of campuses and we only have so much debt capacity,” the President said. Regardless of the many ins, outs, and what-have-yous of the Commonwealth housing issue, Spanier said that he expects a decision will be made “sometime later this year.”
Notably, the Council approved establishing a mentorship program for students transitioning from Commonwealth campuses to University Park. The resolution changes the current program, which is one day of Change of Campus Orientation. The new program begins while a student is in his or her final semester at the Commonwealth campus and follows him or her through that summer.
Another resolution passed recommends to the Faculty Senate to change the current policy of Academic Warning so it requires that a student being warned meet with their advisor. (As of now, if your GPA drops below 2.5, you are in danger of being dropped from your major, and that’s about as far as that goes).
The Council also passed a minor resolution dealing with some official housekeeping issues and it tabled legislation regarding Council dates for next year. Next month’s meeting takes place December 3 and 4.