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Onward Debate: 2017 Senior Class Gift

Last Friday, the 2017 Class Gift Campaign revealed the three finalists: a permanent, annual contribution to Lion Pantry, funding for the Library Textbook fund, or a new Bike Share program on campus.

Some of our writers had some opinions (of course) about each of these choices. To help the seniors get better acquainted with their options, we debated the age-old question: “Which Senior Class Gift is the best option?”

Katie Klodowski: “Supply Food For Students Who Need It”

One of the 2017 Class Gift Options is to provide at-risk students with food through a service that already exists — Lion Pantry. Currently, Lion Pantry (the student food bank) is only funded by donations and helps students in need by providing food staples to those with a Penn State ID. Since the cost of a college degree is constantly on the rise, I think having a permanent, annual source of funding for Lion Pantry has never been more appropriate.

Many college campuses (including Penn State) have recently recognized how important it is for students to maintain both mental and physical health. Last year’s gift, which provided funding for CAPS, made the Class of 2016 proud. They knew their gift would impact the future students of Penn State more positively than any painting or mosaic could. Providing stable funding for Lion Pantry would be a fitting follow-up to the 2016 Class Gift. Both CAPS and Lion Pantry work in different ways to keep students healthy, and at the end of the day, that’s what matters most.

When students attend Penn State, they should be able to focus on achieving their goals. Concentrating on acing finals is hard enough — worrying where your next meal will come from shouldn’t have to happen if we can help it. Providing funding for Lion Pantry is not be the most glamorous option. However, choosing this option as the 2017 Class Gift would undoubtedly impact the lives of numerous students in the coming years and the Penn State Community would be much better for it. In my opinion, there is nothing more noble than helping out our fellow Nittany Lions.

Sara Civian: “Provide books, promote success”

I truly believe that in a decade or two, America will collectively cringe looking back on forcing college students to pay $200+ dollars for one textbook. The cost of textbooks is simply absurd, and it’s an issue that every single Penn State student has to deal with each semester. The Library Textbook Fund is a pioneer in combating this ridiculousness. It allows students the opportunity to take out reserved books for their classes from the library or online instead of renting or buying them.

A great idea, right? Unfortunately, the fund is only meeting 10 percent of its current need. Chances are, if you try to reserve a book either someone else already has a limited copy out or no copies of your specific book exists. A donation to the Library Textbook Fund as the class of 2017’s gift would make the system leaps and bounds more useful and make life easier for every student on campus.

David Abruzzese: “Support happier, healthier student transportation”

I truly believe a bike share program would greatly benefit this campus. As a bike enthusiast, I’d love to see our campus become more of a bike-friendly space. Not only is it a healthy method of transportation, but it’s extremely efficient. Plus, less cars on the road means less emissions in the air we breathe!

This gift would be a great way to introduce non-bikers to the joys of riding the roads of campus on two wheels instead of two legs. I’d likely be a spectator to the new gift if it’s chosen; nothing beats my ’86 Bianchi Brava — you don’t put bumper stickers on a Ferrari. But a biking campus is a happier campus, so I’d love to see some more bikers take to the streets with me.

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Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.

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