11 Things We Wish We Could Change About Shippensburg University

I’m not saying these things make Shippensburg University a less desirable school to go to, but if we had the chance to implement some change, the next 11 things would definitely make that list.

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Where is the suggestion box for campus updates?

This article was originally published for The Odyssey on April 24, 2017.

Everyone has a million great things to say about their college because if you don’t love it, why are you here? However, there’s always room for improvement. I’m not saying these things make Shippensburg University a less desirable school to go to, but if we had the chance to implement some change, the next 11 things would definitely make that list.

1. The heavy doors.

Even the doors in the elementary school on campus weigh a ton! Also, what’s with the library doors? How come they’re like a foot wide and only open halfway?

2. The weird stairs by Shippen.

Implement a ramp. Last year, they played an April Fool’s joke on us and said they were going to replace the ridiculously wide stairs with a moving sidewalk, and we were all seriously bummed that they were kidding.

3. That class that could be from 3:30-4:45 p.m.

The 3:30 slot is when professors have meetings, clubs have socials, and no one wants to be in class. Eradicate this class time.

4. Kriner’s limited hours.

If we wanted to eat at Reisner, we would choose Reisner. Kriner can’t really be the finer diner if they’re closed on weekends.

5. The random-roommate system.

We fill out those preferences on the housing portal, but where do they go? Random-roommate has seriously ruined some people’s living situations. It wouldn’t take much effort to create a more refined system. Make us fill out a survey or something!

6. “No string lights in the suites.”

The key to the ultimate dorm room is string lights. Listen, I know it’s a fire hazard, but I’ve never had to evacuate a building due to string lights. It’s most microwave and smoking-related incidents. Let us have the lights!

7. Desire to Learn or Brightspace or whatever it’s called now.

First of all, when I go to d2l.ship.edu, why does it ask if I want to log into Ship or Millersville? I’m at a Shippensburg web address. Second, d2l mobile is the worst application to have ever existed. Finally, when it crashes, professors and students lose everything; it’s time to switch up the program.

8. The fact that you need a key to access the elevator in DHC.

The floors aren’t even equal! Hiking up to the third floor is a sin. We should have an open elevator like Grove does.

9. Limited food options in the CUB.

Not that we don’t totally love the fast food thing in the CUB food court, but some more options would be cool. More snacks, like soft pretzels or churros, anything small that we could meal, would be much appreciated.

10. The fact that we can’t meal chips or bottled soft drinks.

If you can make a deal to meal Papa John’s…why can’t you make a deal with Pepsi to help bundle some of that stuff?

11. The inconsistency of room numbers in Old Main.

Look, if we have to go anywhere in Old Main, you better hope we don’t get lost while we’re there for official business. Why can’t we keep all the evens and odds on the same sides?

Don’t Go To Shippensburg University For A College Education

Attend Shippensburg for the Raider Bowls on Wednesdays, the tacos on Tuesdays and the multicultural nights at Reisner.

Go for the whole experience.

This article was originally published for The Odyssey on January 23, 2017.

On paper, Shippensburg University looks like any other state school. There are highly commended professors and even more highly commended academics. You could spend hours looking at the awards the school has received for its facilities, its residence halls and its dining halls. While those appreciations are lovely and wonderful to look at, they shouldn’t be the reason you attend the school. Don’t attend Shippensburg University for the award-winning college education they have to offer you. Instead, attend Ship for a unique college experience you won’t find anywhere else.

While you’re attempting to embark on the long and confusing road that choosing a university is, remember to look at more than what they market to you. You’ll have a great meal at every school you visit, simply because of your tour. You’ll see a clean campus and beautiful architecture. You’ll also see the award-winning perks that Shippensburg has to offer you. While I’m not encouraging you to overlook these amazing accommodations, make sure you look beyond them as well.

While you’re in the dining hall, pay attention to the dynamic that surrounds you. Pay attention to the way the students speak to and address one another. Especially notice how hard the food faculty work in order to ensure perfect service for you and others dining there.

While you’re roaming about campus, look closely at the students in classes. Notice how they take notes, how they listen and more importantly, how the professors project the academics at their students.

Take note of all the amazing opportunities there are lying in each academic building. Notice the fliers for internships, clubs, apartments, study abroad opportunities and future jobs. Stop at the tables in the CUB, or the Ceddia Union Building. Look at the ceiling and how many floors we have dedicated to different offices, different clubs and departments and different services.

While all of this may seem like a one-time experience, as you leave campus, smile at the students taking pictures by the Old Main fountain. Look back at the restaurants you won’t find anywhere else but our quaint little town.

Don’t attend Shippensburg University for the award-winning education. Attend Shippensburg University for the blaring student section during a football game, during which we cheer for both the team AND the band. Attend for the endless Ship puns that may annoy you at first, but will bring you pride and joy soon enough. Attend for the late-night french fry runs, the seasonal bingo games and the music playing in the amphitheater during the day. Attend to witness the diversity Ship has to offer in theater, in dance, in clubs, in Greek life and in athletics. See the unity each student embodies as students gather to support a local cause or a friend in need.

Attend Shippensburg for the Raider Bowls on Wednesdays, the tacos on Tuesdays and the multicultural nights at Reisner. Attend for the events you’ll only find being held by our clubs like the Homecoming Lip Sync, the spa days during finals or the surprise open-mic nights you’ll only stumble upon by chance. Come for the poetry slams, the cookie exchanges, the major-wide meetings where you know everyone in your department.

Come see the sunsets which are beautiful every day of the year. Come to feel the utmost relief after recognizing the water tower after getting lost in town. Come to experience the best wings you’ve ever tasted in town.

Commit to Shippensburg and you’ll experience all of this and so much more. Commit to becoming a Raider so that you can experience the best college experience possible. Join the red sea and see it roar like never before. Make a home out of Shippensburg and all of its amazing opportunities.

You can attend Shippensburg for its amazing academic qualifications, but know that you can get that piece of paper anywhere. Attend Shippensburg University to board the Ship and become a part of the crew. We hope to see you soon!

How To Survive That End-Of-Semester Slump

Skipping class to do work for another class is only really necessary if you have a major project or paper to finish.

We all struggle trying to get through the last few weeks.

This post was originally published for The Odyssey on November 14, 2016.

It is getting to be that time of the semester where we all feel like giving up. We struggle to get through the weeks; we spend our hours counting down the days until the weekend, so we can finally get some sleep. Many of us are coming down with colds which are mostly caused by stress. It is becoming more and more difficult to wake up to our alarms, go to class, and study for the exams that we wish would just end already. I know how hard it is to motivate yourself, but do not give up! Here are a few ways to survive this end-of-semester slump!

1. Nap whenever possible.

Some people say napping really is not an option for them, however, I think if you tire yourself out enough, you will find a way. Take that 30 minute power nap and nap on the weekends. Just do not skip class to nap and try not to nap in class.

2. Remember to eat.

When you do eat, try to eat something healthy. Shoveling junk food into your mouth and treating your body like a trashcan generally is not the way to keep energy.

3. Form study groups.

Talk to people you do not even know; ask them if they want to study with you. The only way you will survive this is if you do it together. Worst case scenario, you all go down with the same ship.

4. Keep going to class.

Do not skip. If you do, you will form an addiction. Skipping class to do work for another class is only really necessary if you have a major project or paper to finish. Do not let it turn into a habit.

5. Keep your head up.

Maintain a positive attitude, listen to all your favorite music, and take a break every once in a while. Take nice showers. Meditate. Do yoga. Watch an episode of Netflix every now and then (that does not mean every five minutes).

36 Questions To Ask Your New College Roommate(s)

A terrific balance between the fun-types of questions and the most essential getting-to-know-you questions.

A terrific balance between the fun-types of questions and the most essential getting-to-know-you questions.

This article was originally published for The Odyssey on August 8, 2016.

It’s that time of year again! Whether you’re a returning student, or heading in for your freshman year, you’re sure to be feeling a little antsy! College can be a little scary, especially if you have to live with at least one other person in a dorm or suite. You may know this person really well, or you may not know them at all. I’ve personally been granted the opportunity to be given a random roommate twice now, so I can definitely relate to those new-roommate-jitters! No matter if you’re sharing a room with just one another person, or a suite or apartment with a few others, you have to remember to ask them these questions!

1. The Basics

What’s your name? Where are you from? What’s your major and the like. It’s important to get this question out of the way early. So if you have a platform to connect to your roommate(s) before move-in day, make sure that you get this one out of the way.

2. Have you ever lived with anyone before?

Even if they’ve only shared a room with a sibling, that counts as sharing a room with someone. It’s important to ask this so that you are aware of the circumstances that may lie ahead. If your future roomie(s) haven’t ever had to share anything before, they may not be used to the fact and some banter could arise. This way, you can be on your guard if sharing is something they’ll have to adjust to.

3. What’s your schedule like?

Knowing your mates’ schedules is important because you’ll both be super busy, no doubt, with the school year and knowing when they’re going to be studying in the room, or napping is important so that you won’t disturb them on purpose. Establishing time windows for these activities is a good idea so that you’re not getting on one another’s nerves. Obviously it doesn’t have to be so organized that you’re timing your nap to fit in with their studying time, but make sure to discuss this one.

4. How do you feel about guests?

Will they be having friends over a lot, or will you? Do either of you have a significant other that will sleep over every weekend? How will they tell you if they have someone over? Do they have to clear it with you before having guests over? All of these are valid questions and while many know about the sock on the door, my freshman roommate sure didn’t and thought I was totally making it up. Definitely cross this off your mental question list, it’s pretty important to be in agreement on this.

5. Are you planning to go home a lot?

My freshman year roommate went home every weekend and also hated naps. Due to the fact that she went home every weekend, I allowed myself to sleep in and nap as much as possible, so that I could get it out of my system for the week. Knowing when they’re going home is also good so that you don’t wake up questioning where they are or where they went.

6. Are you planning to or are you already involved with clubs/sports on campus?

This is a huge one. If you or your roommate are going to be in and out of the room frequently, leaving early, or returning late, it’s important to know just how busy you both are going to be. I found myself extremely involved with theater my first year of college, so I often came in late and my roommate was long asleep. Knowing that was asleep allowed me to prepare to tiptoe around the room and make sure I didn’t wake her. Knowing each other’s schedules can only help.

7. Do you have a job?

Knowing if they are going to be in and out of the room at random times is important, in case you are randomly locked out of your room and can’t find a resident assistant or something like that. This is also important so you can both establish times for quiet hours/lights out, in case the other person may have to be up early the next morning.

8. Are you a morning or night person?

Maybe you like staying up late and sleeping in and maybe your roommate likes waking up at the crack of dawn to blast their music. This is something you have to establish right away, to make sure that you’ll be able to compromise, if need be. If you find that you and your future roommate(s) are the opposite, know that there are so many resources on campus that you can utilize to study besides you room. Also know that you’ll have to confront your roommate if they wake you up.

9. Where do you fall on the neatness spectrum?

Some people don’t like being asked if they are clean or messy, because messy sounds a lot like dirty. I’m not dirty, but I have been known to let things pile up and clutter my side of the room. It’s better to ask where they land on the scale or spectrum so you don’t offend them and so you’re able to get a good idea of what to expect.

10. What are you bringing that you’re willing to share?

Now that you’ve got all the personal questions out of the way, it’s time to get down to business. Will they be bringing a printer that they wouldn’t mind you using? Or will you have to fight to use the microwave? This question can be a little awkward at first, but is essential if you’re going to be living with someone and will break the ice for similar questions to this.

11. Are you willing to pitch in to buy _____?

Maybe you’re going to buy a printer after you move in, or perhaps you want to split the cost of a microfridge. Asking if they’re willing the share the cost of these things will give you good insight on how considerate they’ll be with sharing too.

12. Do you have any allergies?

Besides the obvious snack foods, such as peanut butter, there may be some other allergies at play here. Maybe you really like berry scented air fresheners but your roommate is allergic to berries. In order to avoid issues with scents and smells, this question is pretty important. You can also ask if there’s any scents or smells that they totally despise. That way you’re not spraying the heck out of your vanilla perfume if vanilla nauseates them.

13. Do you have a car?

If you’re a freshman, this may or may not be applicable, depending on who is allowed to have a car on your campus. If you’re older, or allowed to have one, this could be helpful to both of you. If you ever needed to go pick something up from the store, or from another place in town, or even if you find yourself stranded somewhere, knowing that your roommate has a car will probably be a blessing.

14. How do you study?

Some people need complete silence to focus. Some people like music. Some people like to verbally read their notes to retain the information. I try not to study in my room too much because I think it’s too easy to get distracted, but not everyone feels this way. Getting to know one another’s study habits will help both of you succeed in your academics.

15. Do you like the room hot or cold?

If applicable, this is an important one. I am definitely a cold person and luckily my roommate last year was too. Fighting over the thermostat can not only cause some super annoying fights, but can also break the thermostat. Let’s try and cut down on the maintenance requests this year, shall we?

16. What are your pet peeves?

Another great question so that you’re not stepping on each other’s toes. You never know what could annoy someone. My previous roommate sometimes got annoyed that I didn’t do laundry more often, something that virtually did not affect her at all. The way to an efficient living situation is communication. This way, both of you know to avoid those pet peeves.

17. Do you drink?

This one and the next questions are completely essential, whether you do or don’t. If you have a problem with them drinking, speak up right away so they know not to do it in your presence.

18. Do you smoke?

Again, you have to ask this. I believe vaping counts. If you have a problem with them smoking or vaping, speak up right away so they know not to do it in your presence.

19. How do you feel about parties?

If perhaps you’re the type of roommate who likes to throw parties, this could be pretty important. If however, you’re looking for a party buddy or expect to be coming in late a whole lot, well, definitely let your roommate know and vice versa.

20. What chores do you not mind doing?

As much as I hate to admit it, cleaning is so important. Even if one of you is dusting and the other is wiping down counters, make sure to establish some sort of cleaning routine. If you’ve got plants, water them. If you have dishes, clean them. I’m not saying every roommate has to have a chore chart or wheel, but make sure to vacuum, dust, wipe down and sanitize at least once a month.

21. What kind of music do you like?

This could be fun, or for testing purposes. If either of you enjoy playing music aloud, this is to be asked only so you can be considerate of their tastes.

22. What are your favorite foods?

Getting to know your roommate(s) doesn’t have to be super strict and awkward! Don’t be afraid to get casual with it! Don’t be afraid to ask the silly questions.

23. How do you spend your free time?

Maybe you could spend some free time together, depending on their tastes. Bonding experiences are fun experiences!

24. What was your high school experience like?

Heading back to your roots to talk about nostalgia and history can either be really fun or really terrible. Some people didn’t have a great high school experience. Be wary of that.

25. What are your future goals?

Asking what they want to do after graduation with their degree can spark a whole new conversation. Dig in!

26. Do you have any pets?

Another fun, happy-go-lucky conversation starter.

27. Tell me about your family?

People love to talk about their families. Prepare to spend at least an hour on this question.

28. Why did you choose this school?

Even if you’re a returning student, this could still be applicable.

29. Questions about their side of the room.

Ask them about that friend in that picture, or about the stuffed giraffe on their bed. Ask them about their favorite movies and if they brought any. Ask about the origami shark on their desk. Notice the little things.

30. What’s your take on privacy in the room?

If you don’t have the room to yourself, it can be easy to forget what is and isn’t acceptable. Is it cool to be in the room while they are face-timing or skyping someone? Do they want to be in the room while you do it? What about phone calls? Who should leave? All of these questions relate back to privacy in the room. You or your roommate may be very open and totally fine with the other listening in. Alternatively, maybe someone isn’t too fond of you listening to their face-time session. Remember to ask so you can narrow this down.

31. Are any of your friends going to school here?

Knowing that they have friends or will have friends hanging around a lot is a good sign. It means they’re amiable. Hopefully the friends aren’t crashing on your floor every night though.

32. When are you moving in and what time?

Just so that you can schedule your moving time around theirs if needed. If either of you is already moved in, this is also helpful because you have the option to either help the other roommate move in, or make sure you’re nowhere to be found.

33. If something goes wrong, how will you communicate with me?

Some people are extremely passive aggressive. Some people will leave you angry notes. I personally prefer to confront someone and get everything out in the open, so that we can all be honest with one another, but I know that not everyone has this philosophy. Communicating about communication is going to be crucial if this roommate-ship is ever going to work out.

34. Is there anything you want to know about me?

Leave the floor open for questions. Even if it just sparks random conversations, it’ll be good to talk.

35. Is there anything else I should know?

Maybe they have something else to mention that doesn’t necessarily fit into the questions asked before. Give them a chance to voice this.

36. Are you excited for move-in day?

Keep counting down the days! You’ll be in school before you know it!