The Oak Grove has traditionally been a place where IUP comes together, so it is a natural choice for the first in a series of three community-building events planned for IUP faculty, staff, and administrators this fall during the Common Hour.

Employees can bring a packed lunch to the Oak Grove on Wednesday, October 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., and catch up with colleagues while playing some yard games. (The rain location is the Blue Room in Sutton Hall.)

At this informal gathering, employees will have the chance to meet new people and get to know one another better, helping IUP continue to build a welcoming, strong community that is ready to bring its resources together for students.

Fall community-building events will also be held November 1 and November 17 during the Common Hour in the Blue Room in Sutton Hall. At these two events, employees can bring a packed lunch and enjoy one hour of trivia competition as they talk with friends and colleagues from across the university.

IUP President Michael Driscoll and IUP union leaders Erika Frenzel (APSCUF), Erin Fritz Wood (SCUPA), Chip Dotts (AFSCME), Mark Dellett (OPEIU), Melvin Cornell (SPFPA), and Jeremy Pettis (POA) encourage all staff, administrators, and faculty to join in these campus gatherings, which were initially planned through the efforts of the University Cabinet and the shared governance committee.

The last year has “left its scars on IUP,” said Frenzel. “There is a need to recognize and acknowledge the damage and to heal. David Spangler states that `some people think they are in community, but they are only in proximity. True community requires commitment and openness. It is a willingness to extend yourself to encounter and know each other.’”

During her speech at the opening of the academic year, Frenzel issued a challenge to each employee to reflect on what they could do to make IUP a stronger community.

“A simple start is to get to know each other again,” she said.