The Behrend beacon. (Erie, Pa.) 1998-current, April 03, 2009, Image 1

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    Friday, April 3, 2009
By Connor Sattely
managing editor
This is the first part of a four
article series examining the
ways in which Behrend is
growing. Throughout the rest of
the year, the Beacon will exam
ine changes on-campus from
four aspects: physical expan
sion and renovation, admis
sions and personnel,
technology, and academics.
It seems a foregone conclu
sion that Behrend has grown
massively over the past decade.
Freshman classes are jostling
for the record of the largest at
the school. Any teacher who
has been part of the university
for more than five years seems
to have an "I remember when"
It is in this environment of
proud, expansive growth that
the modern Behrend student is
assailed with statistics.
This is the
first of a
series. Fo
more in-
or to catch up on other
articles, check out
Erie County to establish a community college
By Jennifer Juncosa
perspectives/news editor
County Executive Mark Di-
Vecchio is making positive
strides towards establishing a
community college in the city
of Erie. Through surveys, the
residents of Erie County have
expressed huge interest in a
community college that would
offer affordable educational op
The ideal range for tuition is
$2,000 to $2,500 a year. The col
lege would provide a place for
workers to update their specific
trades. It would also be a place
for students to start their four-
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Behrend's admissions are
growing by such and such a
percent, there are new build
ings popping up on every cor
ner. The Beacon, over the next
four weeks, will look at how
the campus is changing and
how those changes will affect
the average student.
The first, and perhaps most
immediately noticeable change
in the campus is its physical
expansion and renovation for
current facilities. The book
store renovations are planned
for completion this fall; con
struction on that has already
begun, so students are aware
of the changes. Many other
projects, though, are flying
under the radar amongst the
student population.
With individual projects
aside, the question asked by
many Behrend students deals
with the idea of the future.
Where will Behrend end up? In
fifty years, will the city of Erie
see a campus as large as Uni
versity Park?
The answer, says Associate
Dean David Christiansen, is no.
"Simply put," he says, "we
want to be Behrend. We don't
want to become University
Park. We feel that we offer a
high quality education here, in
an intimate setting. There's no
large lecture classes, and un
like at University Park, the ma
jority of classes here are not
taught by graduate students."
According to Christiansen
and the Admissions Depart
year degrees at one-fourth or
one-eighth of the cost of attend
ing a four-year college or uni
versity. Community colleges
also tend to see adult and re
turning students who hope to
train for a new career path.
Starting up a new school is a
long and complicated task. The
process for establishing a com
munity college consists of 100
one-on-one, hour-long, meet
ings with community leaders,
and eight regional forums with
community leaders, according
to the director of Economic De
velopment, Bob Spaulding in
news conference in Feb.
Although the community col
lege does not yet have a set lo-
A Penn State Behrend Student Publication
ment at Behrend, the univer
sity plans to hit a "sweet spot"
of about 5,000 enrolled stu
dents, plus or minus a few hun
dred depending on interest
from commuters and world
campus students.
Physical expansion and ren
ovation, says Christiansen, will
follow enrollment. However,
the prospect of a Penn State
campus as large as University
Park seems unlikely, even
decades in the future.
So, in the meantime,
Behrend will continue to reno
vate and improve existing facil
ities, and construct new
buildings or wings as necessi
tated by the student base.
Chancellor Jack Burke, who
will be entering his last year at
Behrend this fall, says the time
is ripe to start construction
projects. "Right now, we're see
ing the best bid atmosphere
since the early eighties," he
Behrend certainly has no
short list of things that it
wishes to accomplish over the
next decade. Projects that are
set to commence and have ei
ther not received bids yet or
are aiming towards construc
tion shortly include the current
renovation to the bookstore, a
renovation of Dobbins Dining
Hall, the new Metzgar Admis
sions and Alumni Center, a
retrofitting of the chemistry
labs in Science, and renova
tions to Reed.
Each item that is set to begin
cation, DiVecchio and others
working to establish the college
are expecting 700 students in
the first year. The college's first
year is expected to cost six mil
lion dollars. Despite the cost of
running the college for a year,
the tuition will be affordable for
Erie residents even taking into
consideration the fact that Erie
has the highest poverty rate in
the state of Pa. DiVecchio said
that the students would pay
one-third of the tuition; the
state and county will pay the
other two-third of the tuition.
DiVecchio believes that an af
fordable education is what will
help the community get a post
secondary education and ulti
mately reduce the number of
those living in poverty in Erie.
Over 2,100 Erie residents
took part in the online survey to
determine if a community col
lege would be a good idea. "We
have never seen such a commu
nity response, in surveying, like
this," said Spaulding. Seventy
five percent of the parents that
took the survey said that they
would like their child to con
sider a community college.
Two- thirds of the students that
responded to the survey said
that they would like to stay in
Erie and go to a community col
lege because it would be acces
sible and affordable.
According to Spaulding, the
response from the community
shows that Erie would support
a community college. Only 16
percent of Erie residents have a
post secondary education and
the surrounding schools Gan
non, Mercyhurst, Penn State
Erie, The Behrend College, and
The site of the Metzger Centel
construction or a bidding
process must first undergo a
feasibility study, which looks at
a project's usefulness, cost, and
likelihood of completion. Cur
rently, Behrend is exploring the
possibility of a turf soccer field
and a track, which is currently
in the middle of a feasibility
Projects that fall under "pre
feasibility" are generally ideas
that are being seriously consid
ered but not acted upon offi
cially yet. This list includes a
convenience store and a recre
ation center, as per the Student
Facilities Fund (SFF) proposal.
which was proposed to the
chancellor last week. It called
for feasibility studies on many
different improvements to the
campus, the most popular of
which was a new convenience
store on-campus.
see HEADLINE on page 7
Edinboro are unaffordable to
the people in Erie. According to
DiVecchio, only 18 percent of
Mercyhurst students are from
Erie and Gannon only has 22
However, there are still some
doubts floating around the
community. Some concerns
have been made apparent
through letters to the editor in
the local newspaper. The pri
mary concern is the extra strain
it would put on taxpayers,
along with worries that there is
no need for another college in a
community with four already
established colleges and uni
The next step for DiVecchio
and those working with him to
establish a community college
is to send out an application in
June of 'O9 to the state. The ap
plication is expected to prove
that Erie needs the community
college so that unqualified Erie
residents can become con
tributing members of society.
The application must project
the first ten years of the college
and show sustainability.
DiVecchio believes, that in
ten years, the admissions will
be 7,000 students in a degree.
diploma, or certificate program.
"The governor has the ultimate
decision," said Spaulding. "He
will support it, he will make a
line in the budget for it, or he
will not. It's our job to make
sure the application is strong
enough and contains enough
information within it to sell the
college ."
in double-
By Christine Newby
sports editor
censos6 psu edu
The Lady Lions remain un
defeated in the AMCC with a
record of 5-0 as they were vic
torious against the Pitt-Brad
ford Panthers in two games on
Tuesday and added wins to
their overall record 11-4.
"I feel that we came out ex
tremely strong for the game."
said senior pitcher, Julie
Koman. "Everyone performed
very well in both offense and
defense. This carried over into
the second game as well. It is
typically hard to come hack
into the second game and con
tinue to hit and field as well as
we did the first game, but we
refocused and were able to do
In the bottom of the second
inning, senior outfielder Katie
Whitby singled which loaded
the bases. The Lady Lions put
the first points on the score
board when senior outfielder
Allison Babish drove in a run
to make the score I-0.
Hitting proved to he conta
gious in the bottom of the
fourth for the Behrend Lions.
The team hit three consecutive
singles. Whitby and Babish
both reached first by hunting.
Freshman third baseman Ash
ley Gruber hit a hard grounder
up the middle into center field
which drove in Whitby and
moved Babish to second.
Sophomore Maddie Wieser
stepped to the plate and added
Baseball team wins
back-to-back games
By Shawn Annarelli
contributing writer
smasls9 „
Penn State Behrend's base
ball team has comfortably
coasted into conference play
by sweeping their first three
double header match-ups
against rivals Frostburg State
University. Medaille Univer
sity, and, most recently. Mt.
Their most recent contests
against Mt. Aloysius (11-10,
2) patted their overall record
to 13-2 and continued their un
defeated streak in conference
play to 6-0.
The first game of the double
header against Mt. Aloysius
was a battle on the mound as
Mounties pitcher Chad Mattis
and Lions senior Dave Koerbel
matched each other pitch for
pitch, stifling batters on each
team. Koerbel, though, would
go on to have the last laugh of
the pitcher's duel as he
pitched a one run complete
game. He held Mt. Aloysius
hatters to just six hits, forced
several double plays to prevent
being in jams, and struck out
eight batters.
The Lions got an early 1-I)
lead in the second inning due
to their middle infielders bats
News 1-7
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Sports 11-13
Local Dining 14
Senior pitcher Julie Kornai)
two RBIs for herself -as she
drove in two runs to put the
Lions up 7-0.
The Lady Lions defense in
the top of the fifth inning made
two outstanding plays. Fresh
man right fielder Nicole
Ganster snagged a difficult
catch and then threw the ball
to second base for the double
play. Senior catcher Lindsay
Baughman made a diving
catch in foul territory for the
third out of the inning.
Pitt-Bradford only scored
one run against the Lions
which was in the top of the
Senior pitcher Julie Koman
pitched a complete-game with
six strikeouts and earned a 7-
1 win.
"I thought the team did a
great job from bouncing back
with the hitting from this past
weekend," said head coach
Stacy Pondo. "They worked as
a team both on the offense and
defensive sides. As for the sec
ond game, we talked to them
to make sure that they were
still up for the second game
and to stay focused from start
to finish, and this is what they
did. Our team plays best when
they are relaxed."
The Behrend Lions did not
hesitate to start
see LADY LIONS on page 13
and brawn. Short-stop junior
Josh Fyffe got on base with a
two out single and then stole
second for the lone stolen base
of the game. Second-baseman
junior Ryan Liddle followed
Fyffe's lead as he swung away
for a two-out RBI double.
After the early lead the
Lions' bats cooled off, but their
pitcher just kept getting hotter.
Koerhel and the Lions' defense
held off the Mounties' bats for
the first six innings before
things turned sour in the sev
enth and final inning.
The Mounties' Dan Clark led
off the inning with a double.
The next batter attempted to
bunt Clark to third, but
popped out to the Lions' fresh
man catcher Ryan Geibel.
With one on, the Mounties'
Matt Cornetti hit a game tying
RBI single off of Koerbel. Ko
erbel responded to the come
back by picking off Cornetti on
first and striking out the final
Mounties' batter. He contin
ued his individual undefeated
streak and now has a 4-0
record and a miniscule 1.40
see BASEBALL on page 12