DUNMORE, Pa. — Students returned to Penn State Scranton this week to find a campus community that’s just as welcoming, yet more accommodating, to their schedules.
In an effort to be better attuned to the ever-changing needs of students, the campus has extended the hours of operation for several of its facilities.
The changes come following the recommendations of a task force assembled last spring by Penn State Scranton Chancellor Marwan Wafa.
The task force surveyed 200 students and conducted three focus groups of about 50 to 60 student participants. The results were strongly in favor of extended campus hours.
According to Director of Student Services & Engagement Brad Kovaleski, many students, especially adult learners, work full-time and may need additional hours in order to succeed academically.
Plus, he added, the changes fully demonstrate the campus’ ongoing commitment to Wafa’s “welcoming campus” motto.
“We are a growing and dynamic campus and the ‘nightlife’ of our students is increasing,” Kovaleski said. “There isn’t a day that goes by around 5 or 6 p.m. where students are not all over the campus and particularly in The View Café or game room. This will help ensure our students can stay on campus and study, organize and plan events to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
“We're in the business of transforming people’s lives. So, we made these changes in order to serve and better meet the needs of our students,” Wafa said. “The changes reflect our diverse student population and our changing demographics.”
Among the more notable changes is in The View Café, which will now be open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. The café will remain closed on weekends.
“The campus surveyed the students and they wanted The View Café to be opened later,” said Mark Tranguch, director of housing and food services at Penn State’s Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton campuses. “We looked at our business plan for ways to accommodate. I am happy to say that we were able to comply with the students’ wishes.”
Student Government Association (SGA) President Emily Scarfo said the extended hours will no doubt prove extremely popular with many students — herself included.
“A lot of students were in favor of the time changes, especially in the cafeteria,” Scarfo said. “I personally was in favor of this time extension because I have night classes and will be able to grab dinner, a snack, and/or coffee before heading to class. We are very grateful to the cafeteria staff for extending their hours for us.”
To get students to patronize The View during its new hours, the SGA came up with several special offers. During the first three weeks of classes, the cafeteria will offer free coffees from 8:30 to 10 a.m., a free drink with any lunch purchase from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and a free grab-and-go pizza with any drink purchase from 4 to 6 p.m.
“The incentives were the student government’s way of thanking Food Services for adapting to their request,” Kovaleski said. “This will guarantee them some business, and it will help create awareness of the new hours.”
Elsewhere on campus, the computer labs will be open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.; Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday from 3 to 9 p.m.
Meanwhile, the library (including its computer lab) will be available to students Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday from 3 to 9 p.m.
In addition, the Admissions and Financial Aid offices will be open 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday and Thursday; 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday; and 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday. Additional evening hours will be by appointment, as will weekend hours.
In the Study Learning Center, the Sherbine Lounge and game room will have their hours extended: 7:30 a.m. to 9:45 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; and 3 to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
The Multi-Purpose Building’s recreational facilities, including its weight room and cardio room, will continue to be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, with no weekend hours. However, plans are in the works to extend the building’s hours.
For more information on campus operating hours, visit scranton.psu.edu.