The Pennsylvania State University has an incredible system in place for warning systems. If classes will be cancelled for the day due to weather, within 5-10 minutes 3,000 students will hear about it mainly through the Berks Weather Hotline or the recently popular PSUTXT service. If there is a crisis, lockdown, or severe weather, or some other odd occurence that requires public attention, Penn State has the systems in place to warn students immediatly.
Hey I have to say, the ammenities (appearance of the campus itself and luxuries) are great. There are quite a few lounges around the campus, and the Student Government Association (SGA) is attempting to convert the Lion's Den into another recreational area. They have also done an excellent job with the game room/center (below Tulleys), we have two pool tables, a foosball table, a pingpong table and many arcade games (yes, the ones in the booths you put coins in). The game room is complete- Penn State bar stools, tables and even custom Penn State chandoliers above the pool table. The lounges are comfortable, the library offers rooms for private study, and the Woods Dormitory complex offers study rooms throughout the complex. I also dig laundry rooms on every floor but the 4th.
Ehhh now we get a bit hairy. There are a few beefs I have with this system, however don't misconstrue what I am about to say- the education is top notch around here for the most part. Here are a few of my beefs. Many classrooms, especially in Luerssen (Luerssen was the first building erected) have very small desks in them. THESE DESKS ARE MADE FOR TINY PEOPLE AND I DO NOT FIT IN THEM. Penn State tried to accomodate other students by putting in other types of desks, however I always have to leave those seats to other larger students. They need to change the desks because not only are they extremely uncomfortable, you WILL drop whatever is on it- from books to pens to calculators to food and drink (it happens all the time). There are also some "not so great" professors and instructors out there, but by the time I got into the College of Engineering I figured out who the bad professors were. For the most part classroom sizes have been kept small, but some classes ("those classes EVERYONE takes, such as Calculus" are huge). Expect a dropout rate of around 75%-80% in Math 140 (Calculus I).
You will find a club here for your interests at Penn State Berks. We have everything from an Anime club to a Baja (racer) Club to the Punkin Chunkin Club, Bowling Club and Auto Clubs to name a few. In fact students are encouraged to begin new clubs. I have very little time for them so I am only active in one club (in my case, the Punkin Chunkin Club). There are many sports to chose from. The Beaver Community Center also has a gym which is OK, however the Chancellor has commented on improving the gym's quality. If you need something to kill time with on campus, there are many clubs around doing many things. At the last check, I think there were 30 or 40 active clubs with an 80 total.
Penn State is extremely close to becoming a 100% green campus. The Chancellor has made it clear that she wants the campus to go green to help the environment. Penn State is a huge recycling supporter and makes every effort to put out recycling cans everywhere. Believe me when you get around campus you WILL see them everywhere. Please use them! Berks also offers a newspaper readership program (it is free with your Student ID Card). Although some recycle the newspaper when finished, I tend to put my copy back in neatly when I am done with it, just incase the paper was hot for the day. Typically by dinner time a good 60%-80% of the papers are usually gone, so I'd say the program works. By 2910-2011, solar panels will be installed on some of the buildings, in particular I know Luerssen is switching to solar power.
There are some hazards on campus, however Penn State does combat them. Be very careful during the winter- you can fall and trip down that hill or flight of stairs. I have slipped on campus before (next to Tulleys) and I have also slipped in the parking lot (residence parking) due to ice. Be VERY careful! They will lay down salt for students, but again be careful of where you tread and how you do it. Sometimes it is better to walk in the snow. Generally wet floors are mopped up or are dry enough to walk on.
I will type more later when I have the time!