In February of 2015, students in the nursing program at West Chester University were told that the nursing department had currently outgrown its space on campus at the Sturzebecker Health Science Center and would be relocating in the fall.
At the time, six different health science departments had been sharing one building. The new location is one mile east of Exton Square Mall on Route 30 in a corporate park.
Department chair Dr. Charlotte Mackey sent out a letter to all students in the department, acknowledging the issue of commuting back to main campus from the Exton location.
“The University does run a shuttle bus to Exton,” said Dr. Mackey, “and we are presently working on a schedule that will include our Department. We are also exploring the possibility of altering our class times to provide with some ‘travel’ time to and from campus.”
On Friday, Sept. 18, students received a follow up email from Dr. Mackey regarding concern for transportation.
Dr. Mackey wrote, “We have adjusted our class times to allow adequate times for students to travel back to north campus if needed for BIO 204. At this time, we have not found the need for a shuttle bus to run.”
Dr. Mackey changed the department’s policy that required students to have their own transportation by the beginning of junior year. The policy now requires students to obtain transportation one semester earlier, in the spring of sophomore year.
Upon receiving this news, many students were outraged.
Sophomore Kimberly Cougle expressed animosity towards the nursing department.
“This was so last minute. The department put us under the impression that we would have access to transportation, and now it’s very inconvenient,” said Cougle. “It was already hard enough on my parents to have to get me a car for my junior year. And a lot of my friends’ schedules don’t match up with mine, so carpooling is difficult. Overall, I’m just annoyed.”
With the arrival of the 90,000-square-foot facility housing the College of Business and Public Affairs, students are beginning to question whether or not the school board is biased towards business students.
“West Chester knows it’s going to get students applying to be in their nursing program,” said Cougle. “The program here is good, and there are limited number of spots, so they know that people are going to fill their quota. They don’t have to cater to nursing students.”
While Sophomore Jane Dersimonian believes it is good that the program is expanding, but she was surprised by how they just “sprang it on us.”
“I know me and other people are freaking out about getting a ride there,” said Dersimonian. “If the carpooling works out, then that’ll be fine, but it’s hard to pull together.”
Attempts have been made to petition, but to no avail.
In addition, there have been rumors that the reconstruction of Lawrence will include facilities for the nursing department.
Kinjal Shah is a second-year student majoring in English writing. She can be reached at KS826308@wcupa.edu.