The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

Opinion: One year of President Patrick: A look back from the eye of a student

Opinion: One year of President Patrick: A look back from the eye of a student
Robert Morris University

As senior year rolls on and we look at President Michelle Patrick’s first year, I can’t help but look at where the university was just three years ago, to where it is now.

With both the hockey teams returning, I remember three years ago, in May, coming off freshman year, COVID seemed to die down, solidifying myself and my roles and friend group saying goodbye to seniors I knew, and wondering what the next three years would hold. Driving home and prepping for a Penguins playoff game I got a notification for a text in a friend group: “Guys we don’t have hockey teams anymore!”

In an email from the school former President Chris Howard said:

“We are saddened for the student-athletes who will be unable to continue in their sport at Robert Morris University and are committed to assisting them during this difficult time. However, this is the best course of action to leverage our strategic assets and position us for future growth.”

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However you felt about the move, I can tell you from a student perspective it did put a cloud over the school that I loved. A distrust grew for some of the officials, and events changed as students tried to get their message of wanting our teams back.

During my sophomore year, we had a whole class discussion about why students were not proud to go here like at Pitt, Duquesne, or other local schools. You felt something was wrong and knew the school needed a change.

Jump forward to last year and our questions were answered. Dr. Patrick took over and you could actually feel a change in the students’ body.

Last year the statement “Unstoppable” was plastered all over the university and I feel that is the best way to describe the last year.

“Hangout with the President” was introduced to actually get a chance to speak to people running the university. In my first two years here, that was something you could only dream of getting a chance to do.

We saw our president at most— if not all school sporting events. Covering these games it was so cool and welcoming to see it. We saw students take pride in going to RMU and being a part of this family. We got our Hockey teams back, and if you ask the president she’ll tell you “It’s a team effort. I only put the staff members together.” You saw the spark that even one school year brought.

Over the summer more changes were made. We found out the bookstore would be moved upstairs in May. No one knew exactly why, all we knew was it would be cool. In September we saw what was going on in the Basement. Talking to Dr. Patrick she tells it the best way.

“When all the adults are visiting where do the kids go to hang out and have fun … The Basement!” A fantastic idea to give students a lounge that we never had. Dr. Patrick spoke many times about how she got an idea.

“At hangout, a student said we need a place to hang out so I went to work with my team and we figured it out.”

What university would not only take the time to hear what their students want but then in under a year, get it done? But Dr. Patrick did. For us.

The joy you see when Dr. Patrick is at an event is amazing. I can tell you at Bobby Mania after Tucci leads us in the YMCA, to get the school year rung in by Dr. Patrick there is nothing like it. You can’t help but feel proud to call this place home.

In one year, the growth I’ve seen is beautiful. RMU has become Unstoppable and now I feel it really does live up to its slogan.

“Big enough to matter small enough to care,” every student who goes here is cared about like no other. What a year it has been with our president and leader Dr. Michelle Patrick.


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