On Monday, Aug. 26, new and returning West Chester University Golden Rams will rise and shine and head to the first classes of the fall 2019 semester.
University President Christopher Fiorentino will welcome everyone to the fall 2019-2020 academic year in his annual University update on Thursday, Sept. 12. The entire campus is invited to this free event, which begins at 12:30 p.m. in Asplundh Concert Hall, and is followed by a picnic on the academic quad.
Work continues on the 175,000-square-foot Sciences and Engineering Building and The Commons in the area between Hollinger Fieldhouse and Lawrence Center. Construction is underway on a new 460-car parking garage, which will be first element to open. And the first majors in the new biomedical engineering degree are beginning classes on Aug. 26 in our existing science facilities as the new building takes shape.
We understand that there will be challenges in the months ahead in navigating campus on foot as well as by vehicle. Visit the traffic and parking web page to keep apprised of updates concerning alternative routes, available transportation services, parking changes, and more. And before attending the president’s University update on Sept. 12, stop by the Sykes Student Union ballrooms for a transportation expo for both employees and students (12 to 2 p.m.) to learn about commuting options.
Please be patient as we work in the best interests of our students to meet their expanding needs and the community that we have established to advance learning first and foremost.
Check campus parking lots here for open spaces in real time. Photos are updated every five minutes.
Who doesn’t love freebies? Free laundry facilities have been installed in ALL University and affiliated (USH) housing, including College Arms!
The University’s Facilities Division spends each summer updating and upgrading elements of many buildings on campus, in addition to other duties and keeping the grounds in good condition. This year, staff worked on projects such as refreshing the lobby of Killinger Hall and the corridors, offices, and classrooms in Recitation Hall. The Center for Women and Gender Equity underwent serious construction on the second floor of Lawrence Hall, where a new entrance for the Dean of University College has also been created.
Addressing campus safety, the north-to-south campus asphalt walkway along South New Street has been repaved and concrete sidewalks were repaired across much of the campus.
The North Campus pool in Hollinger underwent renovations, too, including creation of a professional diving sport arena with refinished room floors and walls, renovated pool walls and floor, visitor entrance doors with a more welcoming appearance, rejuvenated NCAA-approved diving equipment, deck storage, and furniture. Renovations were made to the coach’s office and the women’s team locker room and shower room.
The Custodial Department now has space in Ehinger Gymnasium.
New office name: LGBTQA Services is now known as the Center for Trans and Queer Advocacy.
This year, everyone in the campus community will have a new Ram Card, your employee or student ID card. That includes all off-campus and commuter students as well as graduate students.
Do you really need that Ram Card? Since the University is moving to a new card-reader security system for all buildings, yes, all campus constituents will need a card. These new cards employ touch or tap technology rather than swipe, expediting entries and transactions. Students need their Ram Cards to access RamBucks and their meal plans, make purchases at the bookstore and even off-campus businesses that accept RamBucks, and to use RamPrint. Within the year, access to the Student Rec Center and parking structures will also be converted to the new Ram Card.
New Ram Cards are free when you turn in your classic Ram Card (including for grad students who already have a classic Ram Card) until Dec. 13, after which you will be charged for a replacement card. Just visit the Ram Card office on the ground floor of Sykes Student Union to exchange your old card. There are extended hours and more information on the Ram Card project website, or you can email RamECard@wcupa.edu or call 610-738-0429.
New and transfer students who attended orientation should have received their cards then, or will receive them when they check in to their residence halls. Beginning Monday, Sept. 16, cards for off-campus and commuter students and grad students will be printed on demand as each individual visits the Ram Card office.
For the second year, Student Affairs and Academic Affairs staff have collaborated to connect incoming first-generation WCU students with the resources that will help them succeed during their college days. President Fiorentino welcomes them to campus via a letter while programs throughout the academic year keep connections solid. Read more about this year’s program here.
From intramurals and sports clubs to the climbing wall and lifestyle nutrition, WCU’s Campus Recreation offers something for everyone at every fitness level. More than 4,300 students participated in intramural sports alone last year!
Renovations were made to the Student Recreation Center this summer and the team there is ready to welcome new and returning students. Their first event: Bootcamp on Friday, Aug. 30, from 5 to 7 p.m.
The Office of Sustainability (OoS) has relocated to 114 West Rosedale Avenue. Visit the website for commuting options, environmental tips and resources, and information on their annual film and lecture series.
On Oct. 3, OoS hosts the second Spirituality and Sustainability Colloquium, “Down to Earth: Religion, Gender, and Politics in the Climate Crisis.” Guest speaker Catherine Keller is a professor of constructive theology at the Theological School of Drew University whose work attends to matters of social and ecological justice, postmodern philosophy, and ecofeminist theology. Reception at 6:30 p.m. Presentation at 7 p.m. Sykes Theater.
Volunteers and interns tend the three vegetable gardens on campus (at Tanglewood, the president’s house; North Campus behind Merion Science Center; and South Campus behind Building 837). Check out the campus gardens website to volunteer or see what’s “growing on” at the gardens.
The garden volunteers and student steward/interns ask that you refrain from picking any crops unless a garden intern is present. The garden produce is in high demand by those who use the WCU Resource Pantry and the garden interns can judge if there is enough produce to spare. They also record the produce yield by type and weight.
Many student organizations begin the year with meet-and-greet receptions and all students are invited to check out groups that interest them; visit the Events section of the WCU homepage or check out Student Affairs’ RamConnect comprehensive calendar for details. And meet people who share your interests as you explore the student clubs, organizations, WCU departments, and local businesses present at the Fall Involvement Fair on the Quad Wednesday, Sept. 4, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Here are some of the highlights of events coming up this fall. All are free unless otherwise noted.
Saturday, Aug. 24
1 to 2 p.m. The Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band previews this season’s show. Matlack Field, Matlack Street, North Campus.
Sunday, Aug. 25
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Pack It Up / Pass It On” yard sale in Sykes Student Union. Cash only, please. Bring your own tote bags if you have them!
Tuesday, Aug. 27
Sykes Student Union Lobby
5:30 to 7 p.m.
The Golden Retriever therapy dogs “staff” the first of 13 therapy dog visits this semester. Stop by for a golden moment and a smile! Click here for the complete schedule of all therapy dog sessions for fall 2019.
Wednesday, Aug. 28
5 to 7 p.m.
The Fall Community Fest hosted by the Dowdy Multicultural Center offers the entire community free food, inflatables, games, prizes. Rams Park (between Sykes parking lot and Roslyn parking lot).
Wednesday, Aug. 28
7 to 8:30 p.m.
The annual Ram Rally features the cheerleading team, dance team, and marching band, kicking off the year with free games, giveaways, and more. Hollinger Field House.
Wednesday, Sept. 4
The WCU Office of Sustainability hosts a screening of The Biggest Little Farm, a recently released documentary that follows two idealists who trade in urban life for a small patch of barren farmland as they seek balance, biodiversity, and a better, more interconnected lifestyle. Refreshments will be provided. Sykes Student Union Theater. Open to the public.
Saturday, Sept. 7
Join members of WCU”s Student Activities Council (SAC) on a bus trip to Philadelphia’s Dilworth Park at City Hall for CollegeFest, where students from all of the region’s universities and community colleges enjoy free concerts, games, giveaways, and more. Includes free admission and transportation all day to most of Philly’s museums and attractions. WCU’s bus will leave Sykes parking lot at 10 a.m. and return at 3 p.m. Bus fare $5. Pre-register for the actual event (not the WCU bus) here and skip the check-in line.
Sunday, Sept. 8
RAMs Let's Walk, a new 5K walk and run to support student athlete mental health, is connected to the WCU student-athletes’ RAMs Let's Talk support group. Click here to sign up OR donate. Contacts: Lindsey Keenan or Jessica Meakim.
Tuesday, Sept. 10
12 to 2 p.m.
Therapy dog session with the Berners. Sykes Student Union Lobby.
Wednesday, Sept. 11
Candlelight vigil in remembrance of 9/11. Sykes Student Union steps facing Rosedale Avenue.
Thursday, Sept. 12
President Fiorentino’s Annual University Update. Asplundh Concert Hall. Picnic on the quad afterward.
Wednesday, Sept. 18
11 to 1 p.m.
Check Up From the Neck Up
The WCU Counseling Center and Office of Wellness Promotion host their annual mental health check-in day “Check Up From the Neck Up” with screenings for students, plus therapy dogs, information tables, and giveaways. Sykes Student Union Ballrooms.
Thursday, Sept. 19
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Mix it up with the Mastiffs for a modicum of dog therapy. Sykes Student Union Lobby.
Saturday, Sept. 21
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The annual Women’s Leadership Conference is hosted and sponsored by WCU’s Center for Women & Gender Equity and Student Leadership & Involvement, and sponsored in part by Enterprise Holdings and the Student Development Fund. Brunch provided. Sykes Student Union. Register by Monday, Sept. 2 here.
Saturday, Sept. 21
Football at Farrell Stadium: Sudler Trophy Presentation to the Marching Band. At halftime, the John Philip Sousa Foundation will present WCU’s Incomparable Golden Rams marching band with the 2019 Sudler Trophy, known as the “Heisman Trophy of the collegiate band world.”
Wednesday, Sept. 25
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The annual Job and Internship Fair gives students ideas for their futures with a plethora of exhibitors. Student Recreation Center.
Thursday, Sept. 26
5 to 6 p.m.
Join the WCU Resource Pantry and Aramark (WCU’s dining and catering service) for a cooking demonstration that uses items available at the WCU Resource Pantry. Lawrence Dining Hall, Rose Room.