Last Thursday evening, the Student Senate was paid a call by another group of leaders: the four school deans, the Assistant Provost for Academic Administration, and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The six school officials stood in a line looking out at the sparse crowd of students and each shared one or two upcoming events or pressing issues affecting Millersville; a question-and-answer session followed.
Dr. Helena Tuleya-Payne, the Interim Dean of the School of Education, wished to promote the “Education on Location” lecture and activity series, which will take place from Oct. 7-10. Dr. Tuleya-Payne seemed particularly excited about the event “A Walk in Their Shoes”, in which participants will literally walk from one Lancaster city school to another in order to understand the experiences of some kids who attend the School District of Lancaster, which does not provide transportation for children living within two miles of their school.
Dr. Robert Smith, Dean of the School of Science, wanted to make students aware that a leading climate scientist will be coming to Millersville as part of the Brossman-Frisbie Lecture Series on Nov. 13.
Dr. Diane Umble, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, was happy to report that the 27 students taking advantage of the new Entrepreneurship minor are doing exciting things. Dr. Jeff Adams, Assistant Provost for Academic Administration, wanted to make students aware of the newest degree to be granted by Millersville, the B.A. in Multidisciplinary Studies.
Dr. Adams and Dr. Vilas Prabhu, Provost and V.P. of Academic Affairs, addressed students’ confusions and concerns about this new, customizable study track. The degree in Multidisciplinary Studies is for students who want to bring together an assortment of fields to fashion a unique degree. Dr. Umble gave an example of such a major that is still on the table: she is working with the Communications department, English/Journalism, and Art and Design to lay down a path for students who are interested in combining these three fields.
All six school officials are working on making space in the University’s academic schedule to hold an Activities Hour, when students and professors would be free to participate in campus-wide activities. This has been a massive challenge, but the deans are now in agreement that the hour will probably take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays around lunchtime.
The Senate heard presentations from representatives of the Fusion Step Team and Love 146 (an organization aimed at preventing human trafficking) and voted to give both organizations temporary club status.
The Senate discussed Campus Cupboard, an organization that feeds students who don’t have money for groceries, and decided to distribute donation boxes around campus so that students with surplus would have more opportunities to donate food or money.
The Senate discussed the question of sending money or covering travel expenses for students who volunteered to go to Colorado to help with cleanup efforts in the wake of recent flooding. Members of the Executive Board made the point that Coloradans are receiving aid from the government, so manpower might be a better gift than money.
One of the last items to be discussed was the University’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee’s Input Form, which had been passed around to everyone present.
The form contains the Updated Mission Statement,New Vision Statement, statement of common purpose, and Goal Themes. For example, the New Vision Statement reads, Millersville University attains national distinction by engaging its community of learners to address compelling global issues. These items are meant to shape the University’s future in terms of its values and reputation, and the committee wants to make sure that students, faculty and staff identify or align with the themes they have chosen. Anyone interested in contributing thoughts can find the online form in the Institutional Effectiveness and Accountability branch on MU’s website.