OP-ED: College Town Takeover broadens students' experience


The College Town Takeover at the York Revolution held on Sept. 7, was the first of its kind for our community.

A collaborative effort among York College of Pennsylvania, HACC-York and Penn State York, College Town Takeover brought together three institutions of higher learning and served as an opportunity for college students to experience downtown York and interact with each other. Students, alumni, parents, faculty and friends of each college flocked downtown on Sept. 7 to enjoy a game between the York Revolution and the Bridgeport Bluefish. Attendees wore their school colors and were seated by institution, creating a sea of school pride in the stadium.

Throughout the evening students participated in competitive activities between innings and guests enjoyed promotional materials and giveaways at tables on the concourse. The highlight of the evening was a citation presented by state Reps. Kevin Schreiber and Seth Grove, York City Mayor C. Kim Bracey, and the York County Commissioners Steve Chronister, Doug Hoke and Chris Reilly. The citation expressed the York community's support of continued involvement of our college students in the downtown and declared the evening College Night in York.

A healthy and vibrant city contributes greatly to healthy colleges. We recognize that it's important to the sustainability of our schools that our community embrace our city and work to assist however we can its long-term revitalization. The College Town Takeover committee, comprised of representatives from each of the three respective schools, as well as a member of Rep. Schreiber's staff, plans to launch a series of ongoing events throughout the York community.

As presidents of our respective institutions, we are proud to see such strong community support for our college students. Exposing students to the great things that York has to offer is vital to strengthening their understanding and appreciation for the surrounding community.

Students from all over the mid-Atlantic region and even internationally come to attend college here in York. Providing opportunities for them to experience the many things that the York community has to offer throughout their time attending college will greatly enhance their educational experience as well as introduce them to possible career here in York — further, it will foster more active and engaged citizens of York during their years as college students. We fully support the initiatives of The College Town Takeover and look forward to seeing the success of their upcoming events.

The next College Town Takeover event is slated for "Light Up Night" on Continental Square in Downtown York. Students, alumni, faculty and friends of each respective institution will be encouraged to come downtown from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4, to experience York's holiday tree lighting, explore the downtown shops and eateries, and to enjoy the plethora of activities associated with York's First Friday. We hope you will join our schools in supporting our city. If you see our students out and about on our city streets please stop them and say hello.

— Dr. Pamela Gunter-Smith is president of York College of Pennsylvania; Dr. John J. "Ski" Sygielski is president of HACC, Central Pennsylvania Community College; and Dr. David Chown is chancellor of Penn State York.