Student life @the Pennsylvania State University
There are seven housing complexes located on campus for students attending the University Park campus: East Halls, North Halls, Pollock Halls, South Halls, West Halls, Eastview Terrace, and Nittany Apartments. Each complex consists of a few separate buildings that are dormitories and a commons building, which has lounges, the help desk for the complex, mailboxes for each dormitory room, a small food shop, and a cafeteria-style room. Different floors within a building may be designated as a Special Living Option (SLO). SLOs are offered to members of certain student groups (such as sororities), students studying particular majors, students who wish to engage in a particular life style (such as the alcohol-free LIFE House), or other groups who wish to pursue similar goals.
As of September 2014, 864 student organizations were recognized at the University Park campus. In addition, the university has one of the largest Greek systems in the country, with approximately 12 percent of the University Park population affiliated. Additional organizations on campus include Thespians, Blue Band, Chabad, Glee Club, Aish HaTorah, Student Programming Association (SPA), Boulevard, 3D Printer Club, and the Anime Organization, which hosts a Centre County anime convention, Setsucon.
Student media on campus includes La Vie, the university's annual student yearbook; the student-run radio station The LION 90.7 FM (WKPS-FM); Com Radio, independently programmed and operated by university undergraduates; The Daily Collegian, a student-run newspaper; Onward State, a student-run independent news website covering the Penn State community; and Phroth, a student-run humor magazine. For additional information on media related to Penn State – including Penn State Live, the official news source of the University – see the Media section below.
Penn State Live is the official news source of the university published by its public relations team. The student-run newspaper is The Daily Collegian, which is published every weekday while classes are in session. Since the summer of 1996, the traditional paper publication has been supplemented by an online edition, known as The Digital Collegian. Onward State, was founded in November 2008 by Davis Shaver, Evan Kalikow, and Eli Glazier. In addition, Penn State's newspaper readership program provides free copies of USA Today, The New York Times, as well as local and regional newspapers depending on the campus location (for example, the Centre Daily Times in University Park). This program, initiated by then-President Graham Spanier in 1997, has since been instituted on several other universities across the country.
La Vie (the Life), the university's annual student yearbook, has been in production documenting student life continuously since 1890. La Vie 1987, edited by David Beagin, won a College Gold Crown for Yearbooks award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.
The student-run radio station is The LION 90.7 fm (WKPS-FM). Founded in 1995 as a replacement for Penn State's original student radio station WDFM, The LION broadcasts from the ground floor of the HUB–Robeson Center, serving the Penn State and State College communities with alternative music and talk programming, including live coverage of home Penn State football games.
In addition, the Penn State College of Communications operates ComRadio. It was founded in the spring of 2003 as an internet-based audio laboratory and co-curricular training environment for aspiring student broadcasters. ComRadio is most well known for its coverage of most major Penn State sporting events. ComRadio also airs student-produced Penn State news. Other programming includes student talk shows, political coverage, AP syndicated news and soft rock music. In recent years, ComRadio broadcasters have won numerous state awards for their on-air work. The station's sports department prides itself on the broadcasts of every home and away football game, including bowl games, and its coverage of the NFL Draft live from New York City.
Onward State is a student-run blog geared towards members of the university's community. The blog provides news, features, and event-listings. Founded in November 2008, U.S. News & World Report named the blog the "Best Alternative Media Outlet" in February 2009. Alison Go, a blogger of U.S. News & World Report organized the contest "Best Alternative Media Outlet" at the beginning of 2009. Onward State, still a fledgling organization, was surprisingly nominated. Pitted against Onward State were seasoned blogs from UC Berkeley, Vassar, Wesleyan, Columbia, Georgetown, Middlebury, Yale, and an Ivy League conglomerate. Snatching 24.76 percent of the vote, Onward State finished in first place, pleasantly surprising the Penn State bloggers. The Daily Collegian first acknowledged Onward State at the time of the blog's victory. The two Collegian articles brought greater awareness of the blog to the university's community. In an interview with The Collegian about next year's contest, Davis Shaver explained "We have big ambitions... I think that we're just going to be more established, more of a name within the Penn State community by then. There is a strong possibility of being Alternative Media repeat champions."
The student-run humor magazine is Phroth, which publishes two to four issues each year. Its roots date back to 1909 when it was called Froth. Several Froth writers and editors have gone on to win fame: Julius J. Epstein wrote the screenplay for the film Casablanca (1942) and won three Academy Awards; Jimmy Dugan wrote for the Saturday Evening Post, National Geographic, and The New York Times; and Ronald Bonn was a producer with NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News.
Kalliope is an undergraduate literary magazine produced by students and sponsored by the university's English Department. Kalliope includes works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual art. The student-run life and style magazine is Valley.
Every February, thousands of students participate in the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON), which has been "dubbed by supporters as the world's largest student-run philanthropy." In previous years, participants stood for 48 hours nonstop and performed a line dance at least once every hour to stay alert. In 2007, THON was moved to the Jordan Center and now lasts 46 hours. THON raises millions of dollars annually for pediatric cancer care and research, generally through the Four Diamonds Fund. In 2014, THON raised a program record of $13.3 million.
The university has the lowest percentage of students given the opportunity to purchase season in tickets in the Big Ten, and one of the lowest in the nation at just 25.25% (it should be noted that this percentage includes students at all 24 campuses statewide; the student section is approximately 50% of the students attending the University Park campus). Conversely, Ohio State University, with a student section of 29,000 tickets has seats for 57.16% of their students. Penn State students were listed number one in the "students who pack the stands" category of the 2009 Princeton Review survey. Due to a change in the way seating is assigned, beginning in 1993 tradition has been for students to camp outside of the stadium on the days leading up to important games. The campsite had been christened "Paternoville" in 2005, but was renamed to "Nittanyville" in 2012 after Paterno's retirement.
Penn State's mascot is the Nittany Lion, a representation of a type of mountain lion that once roamed what is now University Park. The school's official colors, now blue and white, were originally black and dark pink. Penn State participates in the NCAA Division I FBS and in the Big Ten Conference for most sports.
Two sports participate in different conferences: men's volleyball in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) and women's hockey in College Hockey America (CHA). The fencing teams operate as independents.
Athletic teams at Penn State have won 76 national collegiate team championships (48 NCAA, 2 consensus Division I football titles, 6 AIAW, 3 USWLA, 1 WIBC, and 4 national titles in boxing, 11 in men's soccer and one in wrestling in years prior to NCAA sponsorship).The 48 NCAA Championships ranks fifth all time in NCAA Division I, and is the most of any Big Ten school.
Since joining the Big Ten in 1991, Penn State teams have won 95 conference regular season and tournament titles.
Penn State has one of the most successful overall athletic programs in the country, as evidenced by its rankings in the NACDA Director's Cup, a list compiled by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics that charts institutions' overall success in college sports. From the Cup's inception in the 1993–1994 season, the Nittany Lions have finished in the top 25 every year.
Despite widespread success in the overall athletic program, however, the school is best known for its football team, which draws a very large following. Penn State's Beaver Stadium has the second largest seating capacity of any stadium in the nation, with an official capacity of 106,572 slightly behind Michigan Stadium with an official capacity of 107,601. For decades, the football team was led by coach Joe Paterno. Paterno was in a close competition with Bobby Bowden, the head coach for Florida State, for the most wins ever in Division I-A (now the FBS) history. This competition effectively ended with Paterno still leading following Bowden's retirement after the 2010 Gator Bowl. In 2007, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Paterno amassed 409 victories over his career, the most in NCAA Division 1 history. Paterno died on January 22, 2012, at the age of 85.
The school's wrestling team has also become noticed. Under Cael Sanderson, the Nittany Lions won five national titles in a six year span, from 2011 to 2016.
The university opened a new Penn State All-Sports Museum in February 2002. This two-level 10,000-square-foot (1,000 m2) museum is located inside Beaver Stadium. In addition to the school funded athletics, club sports also play a major role in the University, with over 68 club sport organizations meeting regularly to date. Many club teams compete nationally in their respective sports. The Penn State Ski Team, which competes as part of the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) in the Allegheny Conference, as well as the Penn State Swim Club, which competes in the American Swimming Association – University League (ASAU), are just a few examples. Some other clubs include baseball, squash, karate, crew, and sailing.
Penn State's most well known athletic cheer is "We are...Penn State." Typically, the students and cheerleaders shout, "We are," followed by a response of "Penn State" from the rest of the fans. By tradition, this is done three times, and followed by "Thank you..." "... You're welcome!"