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Better Know a Branch Campus: Penn State Schuylkill

There are 24 campuses in the Penn State system. The one that gets the most attention is University Park, but what about the other 23? That’s where we come in with our newest 23 part series, Better Know a Branch Campus, inspired by Stephen Colbert’s Better Know a District. Next up: Penn State Schuylkill.

Name: Penn State Schuylkill, The Fightin’, uh, Schools? Kills? This one’s difficult, because either nickname could work in this instance. I’ll go with The Fightin’ Kills because it sounds like an army of Minnesota’s head football coach Jerry Kill.

Chancellor: Dr. Kelly Austin

Enrollment: 1,102 undergraduate students, making it the ninth smallest branch campus in the Penn State system.

Location: The campus is in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania, and is located approximately 92 miles from Philadelphia, 124 miles from State College, and 254 miles from Pittsburgh.

Sports: Schuylkill is one of the many branch campuses that is a member of the Penn State University Athletic Conference. It has eight sports: baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, men’s golf, softball, men’s soccer, and women’s volleyball.

Fun Fact: Schyulkill merged with Penn State Harrisburg in 1996 in order to reduce costs and streamline operations. It became independent again in 2005.

History: The campus opened in 1934 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, the home of Yuengling and Angels and Airwaves bassist Matt Wachter. The school relocated in 1967, and it has been there ever since.

Right Now: Penn State Schuylkill offers five bachelor degrees and four associate degrees, and has 47 full-time faculty members. There is no on-campus living, however, there is an apartment complex called Nittany Apartments right across the street from campus.

Story Time: We got two stories this week, although one of them comes from a person who didn’t attend the campus:

“While I didn’t go to Penn State Schuylkill I did have the pleasure (or misfortune) of living with two “skooks” my sophomore year. Leaving the comfort and safety of the dorms I spent my freshman year in, I had no idea what awaited me at Lions Crossing when I arrived back at University Park Fall of ’09. Quickly I found out exactly what was in store for me when my two “skook” roommates threw a party the first football weekend. Like a deer in the headlights from living a very straight edge lifestyle up until this point I couldn’t believe the revelry that quickly surrounded me. I went to bed early being intimidated by the whole scene and awoke to find my living room looking like Woodstock. I had to walk through a minefield of passed out skooks to get to my ride to the game. Later I found out they stacked a shopping cart they stole from Walmart full of alcohol and took it down to the bus stop to go to the game. I really do enjoy these people though. They are an entirely different breed from what I’m used to and during my time spent with them I was able to learn a few things about this culture. Nothing will keep skooks from a party. Not even hours of driving. I would be surprised if there was a student left on that campus the evening of that first party. Also where there is one skook there is a thousand skooks. Every single one of these people know each other. When a single person is coming up from back home every skook on campus is aware of it and shows up. It’s unbelievable. Its like there is some sort of skook signal lit up in the sky above the party. (p.s. if there was an actual skook symbol I assume it would be the mossy oak logo).”

“So, here’s a quick summary of Schuylkill Campus. It’s pretty small, very nice looking, teachers are pretty decent, the food is okay, Sheetz is nearby, and there really isn’t much to do in the area. The party scene was also pretty quiet, as the local cops weren’t too friendly to our shenanigans.

To really enjoy the campus, you had to create your own fun. Luckily, my friends and I specialized at this. We explored the nearby “haunted” buildings and creepy graveyards in the woods. We scaled hills to throw snowballs at our friends on the higher floors of the dorms. Our proudest moment, however, came when we turned our roommate into a superhero. With one pair of cargo shorts, a towel as a cape, lacrosse gloves, helmet, and stick, we transformed our roommate into a hero named “Super Scooter” and forced him to run outside. Imagine looking outside your window and seeing some skinny kid running around outside with a towel swinging lacrosse gear around. This is what we created for the RA’s and residents of the Nittany Apartments.

Yeah, this is what we had to do have fun. Pretty dull place.”

Next Time: Penn State Shenango! Per usual, I don’t know anything about the campus, so if you do, tell me about it.

Previous Better Know a Branch Campus features: AbingtonAltoonaBeaverBerksBrandywineDuBoisErieFayetteGreater AlleghenyHarrisburgHazletonLehigh ValleyMont Alto, New Kensington.

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