Staff finds new use for display cases


Eden Cohen, News Editor

Students and staff are finding new ways to utilize display cases on campus.

Student Affairs Director Shawn Brooks envisioned that student organization members would use display cases in the Student Union basement near the Student Life office.

Brooks’s vision came true with the Fine Arts Club.

Assistant Student Life Director Jeanne Susko approached the club’s president about using the case,  which was filled Feb. 19.

The case closest to the bookstore is now housing pottery, photos and drawings. It also has animal sketches, a fish-themed tea set and a metal wild cat sculpture.

Fine Arts club president Arron Werner said the objects were borrowed from club members and friends, and were all made by campus artists.

To make room for the club, Susko and others moved wrestling artifacts previously occupying the cases to neighboring cases.

“We are going to move the other case of Pitt-Johnstown wrestling artifacts to the second case in the other case around the corner to provide more student showcase space,” Brooks said.

Wrestling head coach Patrick Pecora said it makes sense for Student Life to control the display cases, and it will not affect wrestlers much.

“We’ll just move it (the wrestling artifacts) somewhere else,” he said.

Pecora said wrestlers were using the cases only because they were previously unoccupied.

There used to be a restaurant in the Union basement, Pecora said, so the cases used to get more traffic. He took advantage of the empty cases because there was not a better place to put the artifacts.

Now that a case is being put to a new use, Susko is planning ahead. She said she plans to allow the club to use the case for three weeks before allowing another club to step in.

Susko said she hopes the case becomes an organization advertising tool similar to the painted rock outside the Union.

“Student organizations can use (the case) to showcase upcoming events or their participation in events that have already happened,” Brooks said.

The case may raise awareness for the Fine Arts Club, Susko said, and attract potential members.

Werner said the club was created two months ago and has 10 members, and that he hopes the case will draw in more members and thus increase art production on campus.

Susko said she will consider different options for using the case as she goes. For example, if Greek organizations show enough interest in using the case, she may offer them a separate case.

Werner said he thinks the case’s use is a good idea.

“It is a great way for new or already accredited clubs to display what they are all about,” he said.

Susko said organizations interested in filling the case after the Fine Arts Club should contact her.

Another display case with plans to be filled is the one just before the Krebs 240’s wing.

The case is currently empty, but Energy and Earth professors Paul Washington and Chris Coughenour have a plan for its use.

Washington said a seismograph is in Krebs’s basement under a stairwell. It is not currently hooked up to anything, Washington said, but the equipment is mostly there.

They plan on hooking the graph up to a monitor in the display case, which would show seismic activity in real time, Coughenour said.

Students could be able to see seismic activity in Indonesia, Washington said.

In addition to the seismic readings, Washington said they also hope to get a weather station on campus and add those live readings to the case.

Coughenour said the reason the case is not yet filled is simply because they have been busy. Between moving offices and teaching, they have not found time.

Sophomore John Grimes said the live readings sound cool, but the money could be used for better things. He said weather readings could be useful.

“It would be cool to know what’s going on outside,” he said, “especially for commuters.”