SHU president and students converse

State of the Hill coffee talk sponsored a late night conversation with JoAnne Boyle, president of Seton Hill University (SHU).  The event featured discussion topics from the construction of new buildings and mission trips to Greek life and downtown Greensburg, and approximately 30 members of the SHU community expressed suggestions, memories and discontent.

“I don’t often get an opportunity to hear from so many of you at once, “ said Boyle at the beginning of the event in Sullivan Lounge. “I’d really love to hear from you.”

Discourse | JoAnne Boyle, president of Seton Hill University (SHU), answers questions at the State of the Hill coffee talk on Feb. 7.

“It was a good opportunity to voice concern and get practical feedback. It definitely made me think,” said senior Jessica Orlowski, a member of the Peer Ministry Council that planned the evening.

Boyle spoke about the University’s plans for the future including the plans to build a new science building on campus and ideas for spreading SHU’s locations in Greensburg.

“I think SHU will grow a little bit more which will solve some of the questions we’ve asked tonight.  I don’t think it will take away from the intimacy,” said Boyle. “ We can’t seem to build fast enough.”

The city of Greensburg continued to be a topic of conversation. Several students were frustrated that the hours of many businesses are inconvenient for students. Others expressed that it would be convenient for students to be able to use flex in downtown businesses.

Justin Norris, director of development, shared that the Greensburg Business Association has been talking to shop owners and restaurateurs to try to extend hours.

Darren Achtzehn, food service director at SHU, explained the million-dollar technological liability of using meal plans or flex downtown.

“A semester ago, I’d tell you it was impossible but now I’ll tell you it’s very possible in the future,” said Achtzehn.

Another focus of the evening was the connections that SHU provides for students.  The conversation was sparked by the idea of Greek life on campus.

“I think Greek life could really build the campus all around and help build connections for the future,” said recent transfer student, Daryl Anderson.

“I think it would be good to build school spirit,” said senior Nick Sterner.

“Although we don’t have Greek life we do have a network and you will never be alone no matter where you go,” said Boyle. “But we don’t have wild parties.”

Other suggestions that were noted by the staff and faculty that were in attendance were a stipend for student interns who aren’t getting paid, study abroad trips for physician assistant students, mission trips, a spring formal dance and changes to the Cove’s Saturday hours.

Boyle also questioned those in attendance for the most worthwhile thing they had done at SHU. Memories included the honors convocation, days of service and the alumni-networking event.

“When you come to a small school there are advantages, but not everyone takes advantage of them. Go and do something that you don’t want to do or that you wouldn’t otherwise have done,” said Boyle.

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