Ahead of the new president’s arrival, students suggest what they want to see changed

By The Spartan staff

DR. THOMAS Burns last week was named the fifth president of York College of Pennsylvania.

He will take over on July 1, succeeding Dr. Pamela Gunter-Smith, who announced her retirement last summer and will finish this summer following 10 years of leadership at York College.

Burns was hired after a nine-month search by a 19-person committee, according to the school.

He earned his B.S in Chemistry at Dickinson College in 1991 and achieved his Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University in 1998. His long career in education has taken him to several schools, including Florida Southern College, Yale University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and most recently Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. Thomas Burns meets students in the WPAC on March 22, 2023. (Brendan Bilo/The Spartan)

Here’s a link to a story written off Burns’ meet-and-greet with students Wednesday evening.

With that in mind, we sent members of The Spartan out to pose this question to their classmates: What would be the first thing you’d like to see him address once he starts his job? Why?

Here are the responses we got:

Senior Business Analytics major Madison Calamita has been a member of the Student Senate for two years now. Although leaving in the upcoming months for graduation she had a lot to say on what she gathered from the new president of York College. “I think the first thing I’d like to see him do would be to give more attention to the smaller majors,” Calamita said. “Many classes get canceled due to not having enough people in the class and maybe try to get enrollment increase in the smaller majors.” 

Madison Calamita

Ashley Hudak, a Sport Media major, had a different approach when asked what she would like to see done by the new president. “I want to know what his plans are to address the increasing expenses surrounding college,” Hudak said. “College is getting expensive and to increase the overall attendance numbers at YCP tuition and fees should be decreased.”

Ashley Hudak

Julian Leon

A few days following the announcement of the new president, junior Professional Writing major Alex Merritt said in response to the question, “I would like to see more funding put toward the arts and humanities departments on campus. Although we have a lot of opportunities now it would be nice to have more resources provided by the college specifically for us. Right now all of our opportunities are from our professors who find them for us, it would be nice to also get support from the administration so we can do more.”

Alex Merritt

Sophomore Engineering major Caroline McCadden added that “it would be nice to not have to worry about needing enough people for a class to run. I have noticed my friends in smaller majors struggling to meet all their requirements because their courses end up getting canceled.”

Caroline McCadden

– Alyson Hatfield

Hayden Sock is a Criminology and Criminal Justice major as well as a member of the men’s lacrosse team. He said: “I would like to see more funding for athletics. Many of the teams on campus are forced to use money from donations for equipment and apparel as well as food on trips. With a little more funding the athletic department will have the ability to use those donations for other things.” 

Hayden Sock

Libby Wild is an Integrated Marketing Communications major and field hockey player. On the way to Kinsley Field, the sophomore had this to say about the new hire: “I would like him to create a sustainability initiative in order to create more environmentally friendly habits within the school.”

Libby Wild

– AJ Apel

Mir Monticchio, a freshman majoring in Graphic Design, said he would like to see more lounge areas for students. He feels that as a commuter “it’s sometimes hard to find good places to sit and do schoolwork.” Monticchio said he spends most of his time in Wolf Hall and “…the only place to sit is the lobby, which doesn’t have that many chairs. Maybe some bean bags or something would also make lounge areas more comfortable.” He also said he would like to see more diverse food options in the dining hall. “I have some friends who are vegan, and about their only option in the dining hall is a bowl of quinoa.” Monticchio said this was not enough for people who are vegan, and more food options would also help people who have eating restrictions because of religious exemption. 

Mir Monticchio

Brayden Fake is a Creative Industries major. Walking out of a Rhetorical Communications class, he was asked what he’d like to see the new president change. He thought a moment before replying, “When I first came to YCP, I attended a lot of the events, but I was surprised by how few people came to these events.” He was disappointed by this and said he would like to see the school do a better job of advertising the events on campus.

Brayden Fake

– Hayley Leitzinger

Would you like your comments added to this story. Send your comments to my email at pvigna@ycp.edu

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